RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - One of the drivers in the fatal accident near Kilgore, that killed two children and their mother, has been charged with a third count of intoxication manslaughter, according to Rusk County Justice of the Peace Joe Sorrells.
Kilgore police say they responded to a major crash on Loop 259 near Dudley Road just outside of the Kilgore city limits around 1 a.m. on Thursday. When they arrived they found that two children, 6-year-old Ryera Patel and 12-year-old Trish Patel, had been killed in the crash. The children's mother, Heena Patel, 43, was unresponsive and their father, Ketanbhai Patel, 42, was moving about in a daze.
During their investigation, the Department of Public Safety secured a DWI search warrant for 22-year-old Shelby Whitney Taylor, a Henderson resident, the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash. Taylor has been arrested and charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter.
DPS troopers say say the family, traveling through the area from Central Texas, was driving northbound on Loop 259 in a minivan when the father spotted a oil field truck driven by Taylor heading southbound in the northbound lane. The father tried to take evasive action, but ended up striking Taylor's truck. The children were laying on blankets in the backseat of the van and were not wearing seatbelts.
The parents were taken to Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview where the mother passed away late Friday night. The father was treated and released Friday. Taylor was taken to a Kilgore hospital. A passenger in her car, Sara Furlong, was treated and released.
Taylor has a previous arrest on her record for DWI. She was arrested in Rusk County in October 2013. She also has past charges for assault causing bodily injury. She is being held on a $751,000 bond.