Woman arrested in January crash that killed couple, injured 4 children

Elena Carranza, 20, accused of driving drunk

HELOTES, Texas – A driver involved in a crash in Helotes earlier this year that killed a couple and injured their four children has been arrested on charges related to drunken driving.

The arrest Monday of Elena Carranza, who doesn’t turn 21 until August, marks a dramatic shift in the case.

At the scene of the January 3 crash, officers told KSAT12 that it appeared to be just an accident.

Craig Smith, 54, and his 39-year-old wife, Susan, both were killed in the crash.

Their four children, who range in age from six to 16, suffered injuries.

Although police initially said their injuries were minor, an arrest warrant affidavit now shows one of the children suffered a traumatic brain injury.

It says Carranza was driving her pickup on Highway 16 and T-boned the family’s minivan as it crossed the road.

Carranza also suffered injuries as a result of the crash.

The affidavit said while she was at the hospital, police requested a blood draw.

Tests show her blood alcohol level was .12, or one and a half times the legal limit, the affidavit said.

Police say Carranza admitted to drinking, but told them she did it earlier in the day.

However, they obtained records from her bank showing she had bought several drinks at a bar on the River Walk, including one about 90 minutes before the crash, the affidavit said.

Police obtained a warrant for her arrest Monday.

Carranza faces multiple charges, including two counts of intoxication manslaughter.

It is still unclear whether the bar will be held accountable for serving Carranza who, legally, is not of age to drink alcohol.

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Tim has been a photojournalist and video editor at KSAT since 1998. He came to San Antonio from Lubbock, where he worked in TV and earned his bachelor's degree in Electronic Media and Communication from Texas Tech University. Tim has won a handful of awards and has earned a master's in Strategic Communication and Innovation from Tech as well.

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