Family of victims speaks out about deadly DUI crash
Updated On: Jun 07 2013 09:25:07 PM EDT
A teenager accused of drunken driving and killing two people on Monday was allowed back on the road and behind the wheel, in a situation the victims' families say find hard to believe.
Giselle Batista, 24, and Benjamin Frias, 30, were killed after troopers say 20-year-old Alejandro Correa hit them from behind leaving their 4-month-old son, Emmanuel, without parents.
The victims' family says it's tough for them to hear.
“I want him to pay; I don't want him to walk away, because he took my sister and my brother-in-law. He took a part of my heart,” said Julissa Batista, one of the victim's sisters.
Despite being charged with four counts of vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter Correa is allowed to drive with a 30-day driving permit.
Local 6 legal analyst Luis Calderon said that until Correa has his day in court, he's innocent until proven guilty.
“Even the accused have rights; this is one of those procedural safeguards,” Calderon said. “In the criminal sanctions you can't keep someone in jail until the trial unless there are specific situations. Just as the privileges of the driver, you don't take that away without due process.”
It'll be the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that decides whether to suspend or revoke Correa's license. The hearing is something every person arrested for a DUI is eligible for unless they have previous DUI offenses.
Local 6 checked Correa's criminal history, which shows no previous DUIs, but he had three speeding tickets in March 2011.
There's not much comfort for a family still grieving, saying they are "angry for him being irresponsible, for not thinking about the consequences of his actions."
Troopers said there were no skid marks on the road and that Correa was so impaired he was unaware he was even involved in a crash, information DHSMV will take into account when deciding if and for how long to suspend Correa's license.