Texas teenager accused of lying about crash that killed friend

Lorena Hernandez (Hays County Sheriff's Office)
Lorena Hernandez (Hays County Sheriff's Office)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – A 19-year-old San Marcos woman has been arrested and charged with one count of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault with a vehicle for a deadly crash that happened in 2015.

According to court documents, Lorena Hernandez was involved in the Jan. 1, 2015 crash that killed one of her friends, Ruben Trevino Jr., and severely injured two others. Hernandez was 17 years old at the time of the crash.

Police say the driver was traveling on Staples Road near Old Bastrop Highway when they took a curve at an unsafe speed, striking a pole and power box before rolling several times. Trevino Jr. and two other people inside the car were ejected from the vehicle. Investigators on scene noted that the speedometer of the vehicle was locked on 80 mph, the speed limit on the road is 55 mph.

Court documents say investigators spoke with the surviving passengers who had been drinking at a party before the crash and all said Trevino was the driver. However, police say the driver’s seat was too close to the steering wheel for Trevino to have been driving.

The Trevino family hired a lawyer and a private investigator to look into the crash. The private investigator provided Facebook messages from Hernandez indicating she was the driver, the arrest affidavit continued. When investigators brought the new information to the felony prosecutor, the case was turned down due to a lack of evidence.

The Texas Rangers investigator continued looking into the case and in November of 2015, they interviewed one of the victims who was paralyzed due to the crash. She told investigators Hernandez did send her a message stating “it killed her because [Hernandez] was the one driving that night.” When pressed about the message, Hernandez “continued to insist that she had told the truth and she had not been driving.”

On Dec. 9, 2016, investigators once again looked at pictures from the scene and discovered that if Trevino had been driving, he would not have received the injuries he did. Investigators revisited with the felony district attorney who told law enforcement to go forward with the case.

Hernandez was arrested and booked into the Hays County Jail late Wednesday night. A $10,000 bond was set for each charge.

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