Driver walks out of jail after killing mom and baby in alleged DUI crash

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Veronica Rivas, 20, is walking among us after killing a mom and her newborn baby in an alleged drunk driving crash. (KTRK)

A 20-year-old woman accused of killing a mom and her newborn baby in a drunk driving crash is walking free.

The family of 36-year-old Shayla Joseph and her 3-month-old baby, Braylan Jabari Joseph, are now faced with planning their funerals.

The woman's husband said Shayla was likely on her way to pick up breakfast for them. He said since he works nights, she would get breakfast each day before he got home from work. Shayla was currently on maternity leave from UTMB.

On Friday, Veronica Rivas will face a judge for the very first time after being released from jail on a $30,000 bond.

"Oh my God, she's so sweet. She's just such a sweet, young girl. What made her choose this, what, I don't know," said Lori Bohannon, a friend of the Rivas family.

Bohannon said Rivas' mother is inconsolable, overwhelmed by the weight of what happened.

"She was so drunk, she doesn't even remember hitting the car," Bohannon told Eyewitness News.

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Veronica Rivas, 20, is accused of driving drunk and killing a mother and her newborn baby.


Police say the crash happened early Wednesday morning on the Gulf Freeway feeder road southbound near El Dorado Boulevard in Clear Lake.

Investigators said a white Lincoln SUV slammed into the back of a dark purple Toyota with Shayla and her baby inside.

Witnesses to the crash told police they heard Rivas mention she was coming from a bar. Court records don't say where.

Even if we get the answer, a woman and her baby will never be able to return home to their husband and father.

"Just a young man starting out with a wife and baby, I just can't," Bohannon said. "It just makes me so sad, you know? These parents have got to tighten up. You have to tighten up. You have to know where these kids are at all times."
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crashtraffic fatalitiesDUIdui crashTexas
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