SAN ANTONIO – A West Texas police sergeant and two of his family members were killed in an overnight crash involving a suspected drunken driver on the far West Side, according to officials.
The alleged drunken driver was identified as 17-year-old Elijah James Montalvo. He was booked and is facing three counts of intoxication manslaughter, three counts of manslaughter, intoxication assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to court records.
The crash happened around 1:30 a.m., Sunday, on Loop 1604 and Culebra Road.
Sgt. Daniel Valenzuela Jr., 37, was in a vehicle heading northbound on the 1604 access road and he had a green light at the intersection of Culebra.
The vehicle also had three other family members inside, including his father, 69-year-old Daniel Valenzuela Sr., his grandmother Andrea Uvalle, 84, and another woman.
Police said another vehicle approached the intersection heading east at a high rate of speed and did not have a green light. That vehicle, driven by Montalvo, slammed into Valenzuela Jr.’s vehicle, authorities said.
The crash resulted in the deaths of Valenzuela Jr., Valenzuela Sr., and Uvalle, according to police. Another woman, who was in the backseat of Valenzuela Jr.’s vehicle, was taken to an area hospital and at last check, was in stable condition.
Montalvo was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated and was later booked on multiple charges.
The Ector County Hospital District Police Chief Brad Timmons issued a statement in regards to Valenzuela Jr.’s passing on social media. It can be read in its entirety below:
“The Ector County Hospital District Police Department and Medical Center Health System suffered a devastating loss early Sunday morning when Sgt. Daniel Valenzuela Jr. was taken far too soon. Sgt. Valenzuela was instrumental in all aspects of the police department and MCH. Sgt. Valenzuela was a friend, colleague and an outstanding police officer that has served his community with the utmost integrity and professionalism. Most importantly, he was a good man and he will be dearly missed. We ask the community to keep the Valenzuela family in your thoughts and prayers.”
The investigation continues and we’ll bring more updates to this story as they become available.