The stepfather of a six-year-old girl that died on the Southwest Freeway after their car crashed Saturday afternoon has been charged with murder, ABC13 reported. The child’s mother revealed that the stepfather was the one behind the wheel when the tragedy struck.
Zyra was supposed to turn seven
Paul Rodriguez has been slapped with the said criminal charge after Houston Police stated that he was weaving in and out of traffic on the Southwest Freeway before their car collided into an 18-wheeler. It was also revealed that the vehicle had two more child passengers when it happened.
According to the mother – Sabrina Garcia – six-year-old Zyra Longoria was supposed to turn seven on Wednesday.
Garcia has two biological sons with Rodriguez. It was learned that the stepfather’s turn was to look over the boys, but Zyra insisted on coming as she wanted to spend the weekend with her stepdad.
Garcia said that Rodriguez raised little Zyra since she was a baby adding that she likes going with him and spending time with him; that’s why she allowed the six-year-old to come along.
Rodriguez kept on driving
On the other hand, authorities stated that the stepfather kept driving his Honda truck when he had already hit the 18-wheeler. He then went on to hit a couple more vehicles – a box truck and a Mercedes.
Further, it was revealed that Zyra was flung outside the car and got thrown onto the freeway. She died in the hospital soon after.
Denying an angel
According to an eyewitness, Rodriguez did not even check on little Zyra while lying on the freeway. He was even heard by the witness telling someone that the girl wasn’t his child.
Garcia was very much upset upon hearing such a claim. She said while fighting back the tears, “I trusted him to take care of my baby and to bring her back home. She’s not coming home anymore, so it’s hard.”
Court documents stated that witnesses and a sergeant were claiming that Rodriguez was intoxicated. The witnesses even followed Rodriguez while they were calling 911.
In line with this, previous records show that Rodriguez was charged with intoxicated assault and DWI with a child under 15 years old. However, those charges were dropped. He even has a criminal record that includes seven counts of possession of illegal substances over the years.
As for the two boys, they sustained cuts and bruises. They’re now with their mother.
Rodriguez reached out to Garcia from jail to apologize. However, her main focus right now is her children and little Zyra’s funeral arrangements. Garcia has put up a GoFundMe page for those who would like to donate.