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Alleged drunk driver blamed for head-on traffic crash that killed mother & young son on Loop 375

Loop 375 deadly crash
One of the two vehicles involved in a fatal head-on crash on loop 375.

EL PASO, Texas -- An alleged drunk driver has been arrested and charged with causing a head-on traffic collision on Loop 375 that claimed the lives of a mother and her young son, El Paso police said Sunday.

The deadly crash involving two vehicles, one of which was traveling the wrong direction, happened around 8 p.m. Saturday along Loop 375 west near Bowie. The collision shut down the highway for several hours as investigators sorted through the wreckage.

Police on Sunday morning said they had arrested a driver who was injured in the crash and being treated at a local hospital, charging 73-year-old Juan Martinez with two counts of intoxicated manslaughter. Martinez will be booked into the downtown jail once he's released from the hospital, police indicated.

Investigators said Martinez was driving his SUV in the wrong direction, eastbound, on Loop 375 west when he ran head-on into a car carrying three people.

Authorities indicated 6-year-old Jose Luis Wences was killed instantly, while his mother who was driving, 25-year-old Elide Yvonne Garcia, died a short time late at a hospital. A passenger in the car with the boy and his mother, Alberto Cuellar, remained hospitalized Sunday in critical condition.

An eyewitness to the deadly crash, who called 9-1-1, said that his car was almost hit head-on by the alleged wrong-way drunk driver too.

"I saw him. I took a quick second (and) swerved out of the way. He passed us at highway speeds, he wasn't slowing down. We didn't get hit, (but) right after we called this in," Daniel Bernal told ABC-7.

The deaths of the mother and son were the 64th and 65th traffic fatalities of the year compared to 64 this same time last year, according to police data.

Crime / El Paso / News / Top Stories

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



    1. Jamesben, the ole El Paso redneck hick always with a racist comment. Bet u he can’t have enough of that Mexican food though? Good thing he’s got one foot in the grave. Old bigot fart.

  1. Until judges start slapping these DUI’s with hard jail time, even for the first offense, this will keep happening. Too often these cases are plea bargained down to a slap on the wrist or less. In my society, they would be branded with a large “DWI” in the middle of their forehead.

    1. Lol. You have no society. Only the other 3-4 morons like this forum. A small group of disgruntled bored old hicks living in the wrong town. You can be spotted a mile away.

  2. HARSHER PENALTIES! The system has failed miserably. License #’s should have to be put in when buying alcohol, and if it comes back with a dwi offence, then they shouldn’t be allowed to purchase. With computer systems we have today, that should be an easy check… But, that won’t happen because with easy fines, lawyers, judges, courthouse, jail.. back out on the streets… easy money for the city and liquor stores don’t want to lose money. DWI branded on the forehead sounds good to me.. People that drink and drive are just fking idiots who deserve #$%^&!

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