CEDAR HILL, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – An off-duty firefighter is believed to have caused an early morning crash that killed a teenager and her unborn child in Cedar Hill.
The two-vehicle crash happened just before 1:00 a.m. in the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 67. The highway was shut down for several hours but has since been reopened.
Witnesses told Cedar Hill Police that a Mercedes, with two people inside, was traveling at a high rate of speed when it hit a Mazda SUV, also with two people inside, from behind.
Both people in the SUV were thrown from the vehicle. The driver, pregnant teenager Alyssa Pimentel, was killed and officials say the 18 -year-old’s unborn child was delivered but also died. The male passenger in the SUV was seriously injured and was taken to a local hospital.
Cedar Hill Police said their preliminary investigation has identified the driver of the Mercedes as Horace Shaw III, a fireman for the Dallas Fire-Rescue.
The 45-year-old firefighter was off-duty at the time of the crash and police say “alcohol and speed” are believed to have been factors.
According to investigators, Shaw had been drinking at a bar in Dallas before the crash. He is being charged with one count of Intoxication Manslaughter and police say he will be booked into the Dallas County Jail when he is released from the hospital.
Dallas Fire-Rescue officials placed the 12-year veteran firefighter on administrative leave. DFR declined to comment about Shaw’s arrest.
Shaw is a Cedar Hill resident.
His neighbors said Wedesday they were shocked to hear about the drunk driving charge.
“A woman died?” Tamra Coxon asked. “He’s a great guy. He’s been here over ten years. Everybody likes him,” she said.
Alyssa Pimentel’s family released a statement on social media Wednesday afternoon saying,” We are currently shaken and saddened by the tragic events that occurred today. Alyssa was our one and only daughter carrying our grandson with their whole lives ahead of them. We are very disappointed with the fact that an individual who is tasked with saving lives is responsible for taking the lives of our family members.”