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Arrest affidavit says Roxanne Palacios smelled strongly of alcohol after deadly Harbor Bridge crash

A fourth person who was injured in the crash was hospitalized with a lower leg fracture, the affidavit says.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 3NEWS has obtained the arrest affidavit for Roxanne Palacios, the woman charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault after causing a crash while driving the wrong-way on the Harbor Bridge, which gives a few new details into the crash. 

The crash happened on Nov. 2 just before 7:30 p.m. when police said Palacios, driving a Traverse, got onto Highway 181 going north in the southbound lanes. The affidavit states a Mazda, driven by Mathew Banda with Betsy Mandujano in the passenger seat, was hit head-on by Palacios as soon as they went over the crest of the bridge. Banda and Mandujano were pronounced dead at the scene.

RELATED: Sinton community remembers wrong way crash victim, Betsy Mandujano

A third vehicle, an Expedition, then hit Palacios' wrecked car as that driver went over the crest of the bridge, according to the affidavit. The driver of the Expedition, a 39-year-old woman, was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, including a lower leg fracture, the affidavit said.

RELATED: Wrong-way driver identified in fatal Harbor Bridge crash

The officer on scene that first made contact with Palacios said there was a "strong odor of intoxicating beverage about her person," the affidavit states. Palacios was taken to Spohn Shoreline for her injuries and blood was drawn. Hospital staff told officers there was ethanol in her system at the time of the crash, the affidavit states. 

Palacios was arrested Sunday, Nov. 13, on two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault with a vehicle causing significant bodily injury.

The bond for the three charges is expected to total $650,000.

Mandujano was a dispatcher for the San Patricio County Sheriff's Office. She was laid to rest on Saturday. Banda was a Sinton native and Navy veteran who was a father to a 2-year-old girl. He was buried on Thursday.

RELATED: Sinton native Mathew Banda buried at Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery on Thursday

As we reported last week, the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission is looking into Railroad Seafood & Brewing Co. in relation to the crash after police alerted the TABC to the at-fault driver having possibly been at the restaurant before the accident. 

"We were notified by Corpus Christi PD that the driver was at a business licensed by TABC prior to the accident," he said. "We took that information and began that investigation and that’s where we are right now, is working to determine if – in fact – the person was located at that business before the accident."

He said this is common in cases police suspect are alcohol-related. 

"If we are able to determine that, we need to find out if the business served anybody improperly and in a way that somehow contributed to the accident," Porter said. "As far as any specifics related to how the alcohol was served, that’s certainly one of the things that we’re looking into as TABC continues this investigation."

He said that, to his knowledge at the time of the interview, he didn't think the TABC had previously investigated the Railroad Seafood & Brewing Co. in a case that that resulted in serious injury or fatalities.  

News Director Wes Wilson and Digital Director Ana Tamez contributed to this story. 

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