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New bond set for ETX woman charged with 3 counts of intoxication manslaughter, DWI

New bond set for ETX woman charged with 3 counts of intoxication manslaughter, DWI

POSTED: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 8:54am

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 9:55am

A third charge of intoxication manslaughter has been brought against an East Texas woman who reportedly killed two young children and their mother in a Kilgore crash on Loop 259 near Dudley Road. Authorities say the woman was driving in the wrong direction, possibly drunk.

Tuesday morning a third manslaughter charge was filed against Shelby Taylor, 22, of Henderson, whom was behind the wheel during the fatal crash. Her bond for that charge was set at $250,000.

Kilgore police stated they were dispatched to a two-vehicle crash at 1:00 a.m., Thursday, after receiving a 911 call. Responding officers arrived and found two children, a five-year-old boy named Rudra Patel, and a 12-year-old girl named Trisha Patel, deceased and their mother, Heena Patel, 43, unconscious. The father, Ketanbhai Patel, 42, who was driving, was moving about, but was in a daze. The family was from Caldwell, Texas.

The parents were taken to a local hospital. Heena died after succumbing to her injures on Friday. Kentanbhai was treated and released.

After determining the crash was outside city limits, the Department of Public Safety took control of the crash investigation. 

According to DPS, an oil field truck, driven by Shelby, was headed southbound in the northbound lane of 259 near the Gregg and Rusk County when it collided with a van. Trooper Jean Dark stated Kentanbhai attempted to avoid the crash, but he was not able to dodge the truck in time. Shelby also had a passenger in the truck with her who has been identified as Sarah Furlong, 21.

Preliminary investigations revealed the children and mother were possibly not wearing seat belts and sleeping in the back of the van. KPD stated the family was from Central Texas traveling north. 

Both children were taken to Rader Funeral Home in Kilgore. Next of kin has been notified of the accident.

Troopers have since issued a DWI search warrant for Shelby's blood, who was also taken to a local hospital, along with Sarah. They have since been treated and released.

With the third charge, Shelby now sits in the Rusk County Jail on $751,000 bond. She was also facing a revocation charge stemming from a 2013 DWI in which she was out on bond for multiples charges, but Judge Chad Dean ruled against the revocation of bond. She can now be released if bond is posted.

According to Rusk County Jail records, this is not Shelby's first run-in with officials having been arrested previously for the following:

  • Assault causing bodily injury/family violence (February 13, 2010)
  • Assault causing bodily injury (October 13, 2010)
  • Burglary of a building (January 14, 2011)
  • Driving while intoxicated (October 12, 2013)

Sheriff Price said Taylor could face up to life in prison.

Sheriff Price wants to use this tragedy to remind residents how many lives can change in an instant from impaired driving.

"[You always think] it's always the other guy, I'm fine, but that's one thing alcohol and drugs do to you," said Price. "They cloud your judgment, so you may think you're fine, when in actuality, you're not. "The risk is not worth it, not only to you, but to the health and well-being of anyone else on the highways." 

The crash remains under investigation.

Comments News Comments

Not only do I blame this woman but this judge must be an idiot to allow her to bond out after have prior DWI's. Our world is getting more crazy that 3 lives were lost and what the court say's is this family was only worth $750,000.
I wonder what the bond would have been set if it was the Judges family that was killed.

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