Man sentenced to 23 years for intoxication manslaughter that killed veteran on South Side

Crash happened in Nov. 2020 at the intersection of I-35, SW Military Drive

SAN ANTONIO – The family of an Army and Marine veteran who was killed after the car he was in was hit by a drunk driver in November 2020 said Friday that justice has been served.

Arthur Salas, 41, was sitting in the passenger seat of a Ford Mustang when it got rear-ended while stopped at a red light at the intersection of I-35 and SW Military Drive, according to an arrest affidavit.

Arthur Salas (Credit: Erica Salas)

Salas died from his injuries.

Mario Preciado, who was behind the wheel, pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.

During his sentencing hearing, several of Preciado’s family members pleaded with Judge Kristina Escalona for leniency.

“I’m heartbroken that he found himself in this tragic situation,” said Presciado’s grandmother, Maria Araujo.

Escalona said she followed the plea bargain offered by the state, sentencing Preciado to 23 years in prison and a $2,000 fine for intoxication manslaughter.

She also sentenced Preciado to 20 years in prison and a $2,000 fine for intoxication assault, which Escalona said would run at the same time as the intoxication manslaughter punishment, with credit for time served.

Arthur Salas’ wife, Erica, was emotional after the sentencing and asked the prosecutor to read her written victim impact statement.

“The day I had to disconnect him from life support was the hardest decision I have ever made,” said the statement.

Erica Salas is now caring for her three children alone. Her youngest, a 4-year-old girl, was hurt in the crash that killed her father.

“She started school this week and has so many questions about why her dad isn’t around,” read the prosecutor.

About the Authors:

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.