Passenger killed, driver facing charges after overnight crash on West Side

Matthew Martinez, 27, is charged with intoxication manslaughter

San Antonio police say a driver is facing a charge of intoxication manslaughter related to a crash early Wednesday that killed his passenger.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police say a driver is facing a charge of intoxication manslaughter related to a crash early Wednesday that killed his passenger.

Matthew Martinez, 27, was taken into police custody, following a sobriety test at the scene.

They say he crashed into a utility pole on W. Commerce near NW 36th Street, shortly after midnight.

According to a preliminary police report, the Hyundai Elantra was traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed when it left the roadway and then struck the pole. The car wrapped around the pole, trapping the passenger inside, police said.

SAPD said Martinez fled as soon as officers arrived. Officers however were able to find and arrest him.

Firefighters had to cut the car open to reach his 26-year-old passenger, Joe Angel Palacios.

He was taken to an area hospital, where he later died.

CPS Energy crews spent the next few hours replacing the damaged pole.

It did not appear that the crash caused any power outages in the area.


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.

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.