Report: Driver who allegedly killed three denied driving, asked - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Report: Driver who allegedly killed three denied driving, asked friend to claim fault

Patel family photo. (Source: Patel family) Patel family photo. (Source: Patel family)
Shelby Taylor facing intoxication manslaughter charges. (Source: Rusk Co. Jail) Shelby Taylor facing intoxication manslaughter charges. (Source: Rusk Co. Jail)

New details are emerging in the fatal drunk driving crash that killed two young children and their mother in July. 

The Patel family was driving north on Highway 259 just outside of Kilgore when police said a suspected drunk driver drove the wrong way on the highway and hit their car. The father, Ketanbhai Patel, who was driving the car, survived, but his two children, Ryera and Trish, and wife, Heena, were killed in the crash.

An uncle shares memories of the children killed in the wreck

New paperwork showed that officials said there were three people at the scene on the night of that crash all claiming to have been in the F-350 truck that hit the Patel family.

Shelby Taylor, 22, was arrested and charged with three counts of intoxicated manslaughter for that crash. Her blood alcohol content was .16, twice the legal limit.

Reports say that Taylor was driving that truck with another passenger when it hit the Patel's van. 

New paperwork, however, said that another person was at the scene, whom police say was a friend of Taylor's. The report said Taylor called that friend to have her claim responsibility as the driver of the F-350 because Taylor and her passenger had been drinking. The report said that Taylor repeatedly denied that she was the driver of that truck. However once at the hospital, her passenger and the other friend both reportedly admitted that Taylor was driving the ruck. The pair had been at The Brewery, a bar in Longview, according to that paperwork, and were headed home to Henderson.

That F-350 is registered to Eaton Oil Tools in Carthage. At Taylor's bond hearing her father explained that he is employed by Eaton Oil Tools and Taylor worked there as well. Shelby Taylor is no longer employed at Eaton Oil Tools, but the website still lists her father, Mike Taylor, as the fishing store manager.

Shelby Taylor is currently out of jail on a $750,000 bond. She is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle and has had her license revoked. She is also required to use a monitoring device. Her father had requested her bond be lowered, but that request was denied. Taylor was already out on bond for a previous DWI arrest from 2013 when the fatal crash occurred. 

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