Woman indicted for intoxication manslaughter in 2019 fatal crash

Natalie Saldana faces two to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000

Natalie Saldana faces two to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. This mugshot is from 2019.
Natalie Saldana faces two to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. This mugshot is from 2019. (KSAT)

A woman charged in a crash that killed a 36-year-old man and injured several others in December of 2019 has been formally charged.

The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that Natalie Saldana has been indicted for intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony, in the death of Fred Jolayami.

The indictment alleges Saldana, “operated a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated by reason of the introduction of alcohol into the body, and by reason of such intoxication caused the death of Fred Jolayami by accident or mistake by Saldana driving into another motor vehicle and that Saldana used a deadly weapon (motor vehicle) during the commission of the offense.”

On Dec. 22, 2019, Bexar County sheriff’s deputies were called to aid a stranded motorist on I-10, near Leon Springs. The motorist had been traveling with his wife and daughter through Texas from Arizona, on their way to Florida.

The family’s vehicle was hit by another car and the man had notified authorities of the incident. Deputies had parked their vehicle off the road, about 75 feet behind the tow truck.

As their vehicle was being loaded up onto a tow truck, officials said Saldana was traveling down the same road in her vehicle at about 90 miles per hour and struck the deputy’s patrol vehicle from behind.

The patrol vehicle was sent flying into the tow truck before it flipped and landed on top of the man, Jolayami, and his wife, pinning them underneath, according to deputies.

One victim was treated at the scene. Jolayami was airlifted to University Hospital and later succumbed to his injuries.

Saldana is being held in the Bexar County Jail and is awaiting trial, according to Bexar County court records.

Intoxication manslaughter is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

More on KSAT:

Sheriff: Woman, 30, kills man after drunkenly striking patrol vehicle


About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.