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Charges levied in fatal ambulance crash

December 19, 2018

EDINBURG — A man with a previous DWI arrest who was behind the wheel of a pickup truck that crashed into an ambulance on Sunday, killing a medic and a patient who was onboard, faced a judge here yesterday to hear the charges against him in connection with the deadly incident.

Mitchell Garcia Treviño, 34, was arraigned on two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault, felony charges carrying up to 20 and 10 years in prison, respectively.

Edinburg Municipal Judge Toribio “Terry” Palacios set his bond at $750,000. As part of the conditions of his bond, Treviño cannot drink and will be monitored for as much with a portable device every four hours.

According to police, Treviño crashed his Ford F-250 head-on into a Hidalgo County EMS ambulance in the 1800 block of East Monte Cristo Road shortly before 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

EMS medic Felipe Huerta Jr., 32, and patient Delia Cortines, 68, died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Fellow medic Andrea Rodriguez, 24, remained hospitalized Tuesday.

Treviño told police at the scene that he was on his way home from a party, according to the probable cause affidavit tied to his arrest. An officer noted Treviño displayed multiple “symptoms of intoxication,” including “slurred speech, reddish eyes, emitting an unknown type of an alcoholic beverage from his breath and unsteady balance.”

Treviño subsequently told investigators on Monday that he drank “six to eight Bud Light beers” before the crash, the affidavit stated.

This isn’t the first time Treviño has faced allegations of drunken driving, having been arrested in 2011 on a driving while intoxicated charge, according to Hidalgo County court records. The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office, under the leadership of then DA Rene Guerra, dismissed the class B misdemeanor charge in February 2013.

The motion to dismiss lists “other” as the reason for the dismissal, noting it was done “in the interest of justice.” Court records show that in 2012, Treviño pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor evading arrest charge stemming from the 2011 incident and was sentenced to one year of probation.

msmith@themonitor.com

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