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Court documents show woman charged with intoxicated manslaughter admitted to police she had been drinking

El Paso Police

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- According to court documents newly obtained by ABC-7, 24-year-old Valeria Mena admitted to police that she had been drinking before she ran a red light and crashed into another car, killing 28-year-old Steven Anthony Hernandez.

The crash happened at Joe Battle and Edgemere in the early morning hours of May 21, 2023. El Paso Police officers say Mena was traveling North on Joe Battle. The other car was traveling along Edgemere. Court documents state that surveillance video from a nearby business showed that Mena's car entered the intersection on a red light. Police say Hernandez died on the scene.

Officers who responded to the crash tried to give Mena several tests after smelling alcohol on her body, according to court documents. The documents also state that Mena refused to do two of the tests, but completed the other. Officers report that Mena was having trouble standing up and fell over onto a police car once. Mena was taken to the Hospitals of Providence and given a blood test. Officers state that she verbally agreed to the blood test.

According to court documents, Mena told officers at the scene of the crash "let's be honest, yes I've been drinking, yes I've been drunk, yes." Officer say that while they were interrogating Mena at police headquarters, she stated she had been traveling from a club called 11:11 and was returning to her home in far east El Paso at the time of the crash. She stated to investigators that she had three Vodka Red Bulls at the club. At the scene, however, court documents state that Mena told officers she had been drinking whiskey, and also admitted to drinking beer and shots. Mena told officers she had no memories of the crash.

Mena is charged with intoxicated manslaughter.

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Emma Hoggard


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