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Woman arrested on manslaughter charge in deadly U.S. 54 crash after release from hospital

UPDATE, April 15: El Paso police said a woman blamed for causing a deadly traffic crash on U.S. 54 earlier this month, as a result of drunk driving and speeding, has now been released from the hospital and booked into jail.

Erika Monique Debruhl, 35, was arrested on a charge of intoxication manslaughter and is being held in the El Paso County Detention Facility. There was no word on whether a bond amount had been set in the case.

(Erika Monique Debruhl, charged with intoxication manslaughter.)

UPDATE, April 8: A 27-year-old woman was killed in a car and semi-truck crash blamed on drunk driving and speeding that shut down U.S. 54 for hours overnight, El Paso police said Thursday.

Desiree Rose Estrada, who died at a hospital shortly after the crash, was a passenger in the car that investigators said was speeding when it veered and rear-ended the truck.

Police said the car's driver, 35–year-old Erika Monique Debruhl, had also been drinking prior to the crash. Debruhl was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, but authorities said she would be arrested on a charge of intoxication manslaughter upon her release.

The driver of the tractor-trailer rig was also hospitalized, but police indicated his injuries were minor and his identity was not released.

Wednesday night's deadly collision, which happened about 9:10 p.m. along U.S. 54 south at mile-marker 21, was the 16th traffic fatality of the year in El Paso.

ORIGINAL REPORT, April 7: EL PASO, Texas -- A crash involving a car and a semi-truck injured three people along U.S. 54 southbound at Montana late Wednesday night resulted the closure of a portion of the highway.

Authorities said one crash victim was seriously hurt, while the other two had minor injuries.

Police said they were forcing all motorists off U.S. 54 south at exit 22 at Pershing until further notice.

No other details about the crash were immediately available.

For current traffic conditions, visit kvia.com/traffic.

Crime / El Paso / News / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

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

Comments

9 Comments

  1. Contributing factors ‘Speed, alcohol’ as well potential contributing factors, failure to merge properly, and improper lane change confusion, after dark, in the vincinity of the 9th Wonder Of The World, Spaghetti Bowl.

  2. How often have I exited to SB especially northbound from the west and multitasking monitoring merging traffic in my right rear as well as traffic in my immediate 6 and their fast approaching imminent lane change that Im distracted from the traffic ahead of me in my lane doing 45 after the Spaghetti Bowl so much so and nearly rear ending it the process but a safe swerve sweetener r brake slam saved the day. I’m not attempting to victim blame.

    1. She will. You shot someone who is a threat to you and/or others you go to jail. You kill or injure someone while driving drunk, not only do you get 2 more chances but you rarely do significant jail time. Drunk drivers walk free in this city.

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