Crime

Drunk Driver Charged With Killing Her Own Children, Injuring Two Others

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A North Texas mother is facing manslaughter charges after she allegedly lost control of her car while intoxicated, killing two of her children and injuring two others.

Crystal Suniga, 30, was charged Sunday after crashing her Honda Pilot, carrying her four children, into two parked cars in Irving around 8 pm Saturday.

Police believe she was speeding, driving between 60 and 90 mph in a neighborhood where the speed limit is 30.

The vehicle then rolled onto its side and landed against a house. The four children had been wearing seatbelts, Suniga was not.

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Suniga’s 10-year-old son Ricardo Hernandez and 14-year-old son Angel Reyes were both partially ejected and then pinned under the car. They died at the scene.

Her 16-year-old son suffered a crushed pelvis and is being treated at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Her 12-year-old daughter suffered minor injuries and was treated at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

Suniga, who sustained minor injuries, was charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter, two counts of injury to a child, and one count of intoxication assault.

“Certainly it’s tragic,” said police spokesman James McLellan said. “Here’s someone who caused the death of her two children. It was completely avoidable and unnecessary, but she still needs to be held accountable.”

The SUV landed in Eric Sorto’s yard; he had been sleeping at the time of the crash. The vehicle narrowly missed his front bedroom where he and his girlfriend were sleeping.

A group of neighbors tried to pull Suniga and the children from the wreck, but they couldn't get to the boys who were pinned.

“It was like a nightmare,” he said, “like seeing something you’d see in a movie.”

Police markings of tire tracks in the yard show Suniga was driving the wrong way before she veered into the correct lane, jumped the curb and landed on Sorto’s lawn.

Sources: Dallas Morning News, CBS DFW