Mother charged in DWI death of 8-year-old daughter, records show

Nicole Marae Vidales was killed in the Dec. 22 crash

SAN ANTONIO – The driver who was arrested for intoxication manslaughter in a Dec. 22 crash that killed an 8-year-old girl was the child’s mother, according to records obtained by KSAT.

Nicole Rae Ovalle, 34, is charged with intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony.

Nicole Marae Vidales was identified as the crash victim by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The incident happened on the evening of Dec. 22 in the 200 block of N. Gen. McMullen Drive near W. Commerce Street, on the West Side.

According to the records, the crash happened when Ovalle lost control of the 2009 Dodge Journey she was driving during an argument with one of her passengers.

Ovalle hit a curb and drove onto a sidewalk. Her vehicle hit a fire hydrant, went through a driveway and then struck a Nissan Pathfinder before crashing into a telephone pole.

The rear passenger side of the Dodge Journey was crushed where Vidales was sitting. Vidales was put on a stretcher but was pronounced dead at the scene. Ovalle and two passengers were taken to the hospital by ambulance, the report states.

The occupants of the Pathfinder were not seriously injured.

Before she was transported to the hospital, Ovalle told police she started drinking around 5 p.m. She said she got in the driver’s seat because she felt like her friend was too intoxicated to drive.

She told officers she drank two margaritas while driving.

Officers said Ovalle had a “strong odor of intoxicant coming from her breath every time she spoke.” Her speech was delayed and slurred, and she had red glossy eyes and couldn’t maintain focus when being questioned. The report states that Ovalle couldn’t “keep her footing” as she walked and had to use a parked vehicle as leverage.

A passenger in the vehicle told police Ovalle drank half a bottle of alcohol that evening but wasn’t certain what kind it was. Ovalle was arguing with a woman in the passenger seat when the crash occurred, witnesses said.

The report also states that heroin was found in the purse that belonged to Ovalle’s front-seat passenger.

Probation revoked after crash

Court records show Ovalle was on probation for an aggravated assault arrested in 2016 where she was accused of hitting a store manager in the head with a gun after she tried to stop her from shoplifting.

Following last week’s crash, a motion was made to revoke her probation in the 2016 case and a warrant was issued for her arrest. She was booked on Thursday.

Ovalle has a hearing scheduled for Jan. 24 in the 379th District Court to revoke bond in the aggravated assault case as well as a prehearing on the intoxication manslaughter charge.

Court records show Ovalle had two other arrests, including one in 2010 in which she was charged with obstruction of highway - intoxication. That case was closed after Ovalle served her probation term.

About the Authors:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.