Defense expert challenges state expert’s findings in intoxication manslaughter case

Rosalinda Olalde on trial facing intoxication manslaughter charges

SAN ANTONIO – During a pre-trial hearing prior to the start of Rosalinda Olalde’s trial on intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault charges, a defense accident reconstructionist took exception to several of the findings of the state’s expert on accident reconstruction.

On Tuesday that expert, Dr. Eric Moody, again called the state’s findings into question.

Among the areas of disagreement was the speed at which Olalde, 24, was driving when her SUV crashed broadside into a sedan driven by Mario Velasquez-Palau, 22, on the night of August 10, 2018.

Velasquez-Palau was killed and four passengers in his car were critically injured.

Jury gets firsthand look at vehicles involved in fatal traffic crash

Detective Patrick Davis, an SAPD accident reconstruction expert, estimated Olalde was going 80 miles an hour at the time of the crash.

Moody testified on Tuesday that he estimated her speed was between 56 and 60 miles an hour.

“Based on my calculations, the vehicle was traveling at no more that 60 miles an hour,” Moody testified.

Both experts agreed that Olalde’s SUV had left the Loop 1604 access road in the 6500 block and was on the sidewalk adjacent the access road when the crash occurred.

Velasquez-Palau was entering the access road from a private driveway.

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

Testimony is expected to resume on Wednesday in Judge Jennifer Pena’s 290th District Court.

Trial begins for woman accused of driving drunk on sidewalk, killing motorist

About the Author:

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