Jury gets firsthand look at vehicles involved in fatal traffic crash

Expert says Rosalinda Olalde was going 80 miles an hour at the time of crash

SAN ANTONIO – Before the jury in the intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault trial of Rosalinda Olalde, 24, was taken from the courthouse to the parking lot to view the two vehicles involved in the fatal crash, they heard from the medical examiner and an accident reconstruction expert.

Olalde is accused of crashing broadside into a car driven by Mario Velasquez-Palau, 22, on the night of August 10, 2018.

He was attempting to exit a private driveway and enter the Loop 1604 access road.

Palau was killed and four passengers in his car were seriously injured.

“His brain stem had been torn in two, completely transected,” Medical Examiner, Doctor Jennifer Rulon, testified. “The joint between the base of the skull and the top of the bones of the neck was completely torn apart and dislocated.”

Blood alcohol content of accused drunk driver was twice the legal limit

San Antonio Police Department Detective Patrick Davis, an accident reconstruction expert, showed the jury crash scene photographs and video of the crash, recorded by security cameras at a nearby business.

They showed that the sedan had been pushed into a ditch while Olalde’s SUV continued traveling down the access road.

“The vehicle had rolled over, going from one side to the other, so it’s toppling over. It’s not going end over end,” Davis said.

The trial is set to resume in Judge Jennifer Pena’s 290th District Court on Monday at which time defense attorneys are expected to call an accident reconstruction expert to testify.

If she is convicted, Olalde is facing a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.

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About the Authors:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.