Woman facing manslaughter charge after man thrown from her SUV during ride at car meet-up

Emily Renae Faz, 23, is charged in the death of Joshua Luis Leyva, 28.

Emily Renae Faz, 23, is charged with manslaughter in the death of Joshua Luis Leyva, 28. (BCSO/KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A woman is facing a felony charge of manslaughter after a man fell off her SUV while she drove around a parking lot during a car meet-up.

Emily Renae Faz, 23, is charged in the death of Joshua Luis Leyva, 28.

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According to the affidavit, Faz and Leyva were acquaintances who frequented the same car meet-ups.

Investigators said Faz and Leyva met up with others on July 1 in the parking lot of an empty warehouse that is under construction in the 6800 block of Cal Turner Drive on the city’s East Side.

The affidavit states that Leyva stepped on the rail steps and held onto the roof rail as Faz drove a Chevrolet Tahoe in the parking lot. At some point, he was thrown from the SUV and landed on the back of his head.

Faz told investigators she was only driving about 25-30 mph and said Leyva jumped from the vehicle. But witnesses said Faz was driving between 40-70 mph and was driving in “a reckless manner,” doing quick maneuvers that made the tiles squeal. They said he was thrown from the SUV as it made a turn.

Leyva was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center for treatment. He died on July 29 at the hospital.

Jail records show Faz was booked into jail on Thursday and released the same day after posting a bond of $75,000. She’s now awaiting indictment.

SAPD sent KSAT the following statement:

“SAPD is aware that Car Club meet-ups occur throughout the city on private properties. Clubs should get prior permission to be on the private property from the owner or property manager. In the event that these clubs do not have permission to be on the private property, officers will arrive at the location and begin to disperse the vehicles in a safe matter. Many of these car clubs are respectful to our officers and the property they are on.

“‘Take Over’ events are organized on social media and encourage the drivers (’swingers’ or ‘drifters’) to perform donuts, burn-outs, or other displays of speed and acceleration. These are typically isolated incidents and we ask the public to call the police and report these activities. On the rare occasion that large numbers of takeover participants plan a “street takeover” we monitor the through our Fusion Center and respond accordingly. We utilize all resources, including helicopters, to coordinate a response and keep the public safe.

“As a reminder, it is illegal to perform these actions of blocking the police or other emergency responders path. Penalties can increase up to the felony level and vehicles can be seized by Asset Seizure.”

Parking lot in the 6800 block of Cal Turner Drive where incident happened. (KSAT)

About the Author

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 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.

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