Bar workers charged with serving alcohol to underage drunken driving suspect appear in court

Teen Alleged Drunken Driver Charged in Fatal Crash

HOUSTON — Three of five Houston bar employees accused of serving alcohol to a 19-year-old man involved in a car crash that killed a young mother remained silent in their brief first court appearance.

The employees, 21-year-old Joaquin Gonzalez, 19-year-old Anna Lule and 28-year-old Gustavo Tejada-Garcia, said nothing while leaving the courtroom Wednesday after having their hearing dates reset, local media reported.

Authorities arrested Gonzalez, Lule and Tejada-Garcia, as well as 21-year-old Jazely Barrera and 21-year-old Mildred Garcia, after 19-year-old Erick Hernandez was allegedly served alcohol at Frontera Events Venue, where they worked.

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Investigators said that minutes after drinking at Frontera Events Venue on Dec. 17, Hernandez got behind the wheel and crashed his truck into an SUV occupied 23-year-old Taylor Phillips and her 1-year-old son. Phillips was killed in the incident and her son was injured.

Hernandez has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Prosecutors said surveillance video shows Hernandez never showed identification and was served more than a dozen drinks that night, reported KPRC-TV. Prosecutors say three of the five employees arrested were also taking shots of tequila with Hernandez.

All five employees face various Class A liquor violations. Tejada-Garcia, the bar’s manager, is charged with having tequila at the bar even though it was only licensed to sell beer and wine. Tejada-Garcia has said he was not at the bar the night of the crash.