HALTOM CITY (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Haltom City have identified the victims in a deadly wrong-way crash that left three people — including a child — dead Sunday night.
The accident happened on Northeast Loop 820, near Denton Highway, around 10:30 p.m.
Several witnesses had called 911 reporting a pickup going westbound in the eastbound lanes and eventually crashing head-on into a sedan
Haltom City police Sgt. Eric Peters calls the crash a horrific tragedy and one likely caused by a drunk driver. “The calls that people were calling in on telling about how he was driving erratic before he got on the freeway, and then the fact that he got on the freeway going in the wrong direction,” he said.
Both the truck and car caught fire after the crash. Responding officers got to the scene quickly and were able to get two people out of the burning car. Crews could not get the passenger in the front seat out before flames engulfed the vehicle. Ultimately, all of the people in the car — a man, a woman and a young girl — all died at the scene.
Monday morning the male victim was identified as 35-year-old Favian Chavez Garcia. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Garcia family.
The victim’s brother, Adrian Garcia, told CBS 11, “He was my brother, he’d do anything for me, we’re going to miss him, miss him forever. He was a family man. Always looking out for his little daughter, his wife.”
Garcia’s wife, Myra Pallares, was a teacher at an elementary school in Mesquite.
Their 9-year-old daughter, Sofia, was also killed in the crash.
Mesquite ISD plans to offer virtual counseling for its students and staff to help them cope with the tragic loss.
“If you are going to drink, beware, there are innocent families, they did not deserve this,” said Adrian. “They did not deserve this.”
The Dalla Arboretum issued the following statement on Favian Garcia’s death:
“Favian was a long-time member of our Dallas Arboretum team/family. His servant’s heart and ready smile will be long remembered by all who were fortunate to know him and work beside him. His colleagues and friends at the Arboretum join his family in grieving the loss of Favian, his wife, and daughter.”
The suspected drunk driver was pulled from the truck and flown to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth and at last check was in the intensive care unit.
The suspect, Sione Pitone Nusi, 45, from Irving, faces three counts of Intoxication Manslaughter.
He was seen by a magistrate Monday and his bond has been set at $100,000 for each count ($300,000 total).
He remains in-custody in the intensive care unit of Harris Methodist in Fort Worth.
“It’s an extremely unfortunate incident, extremely tragic incident [and] something that could have been avoided,” Sgt. Peters said.
So far no charges have been filed against the wrong-way drive. Police told CBS 11 News they are waiting for results from blood tests.
As it stands, police are investigating the incident as an intoxication manslaughter crash.