Jury convicts Edcouch man accused of fatal ambulance crash

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EDINBURG — A jury on Friday convicted a 39-year-old Edcouch man of killing two while he drove drunk and crashed into an ambulance in 2018.

Mitchell Garcia Treviño has been on trial since Monday on two counts of intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle and a count of intoxication assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injury.

The jury took approximately three hours to convict him of driving drunk and killing 32-year-old Felipe Huerta Jr., an EMS medic, and 68-year-old Delia Cortines, a patient, on Dec. 16, 2018.

He crashed his Ford-250 into a Hidalgo County EMS ambulance in the 1800 block of East Monte Cristo Road after leaving a party where he drank “six to eight Bud Light beers,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

During closing arguments on Friday morning, prosecutor Mike Morris said Treviño’s blood alcohol content was .15. The legal limit is .08.

Morris said at the time of the crash, Treviño was driving 75 mph in a 45 mph zone.

“You saw those videos,” Morris said. “They died because of that accident.”

The prosecutor said he got into the truck knowing that he was intoxicated.

Prosecutor Michelle Puig told jurors that the victims’ families have been waiting six years for justice.

She also alluded to the video, which was shown during closing arguments.

Mitchell Garcia Trevino walks into the courtroom during his trial on intoxication manslaughter in the 476th state District Court on Friday, April 5, 2024, in Edinburg. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

“People can lie. Video doesn’t,” Puig said.

The video shows Treviño entering the frame from the right side and then the ambulance on the left. Prosecutors said he was trying to overtake a car in front of him and as he did so he crashed head-on into the ambulance, which can be seen in the video.

Puig said a search warrant conducted by Edinburg police on the truck’s black box revealed he sped up right before the impact and did not brake.

Treviño’s defense attorney, Tania Ramirez, however, claimed her client was trying to take evasive action on the roadway, which Puig described as an argument that is all smoke and mirrors.

Puig told jurors Treviño made the choice to buy beer that morning, to get drunk and then to get behind the wheel.

“Hold him accountable for what he chose to do,” Puig said.

Ramirez told jurors that prosecutors had not shown proof that intoxication caused the crash and the deaths of Huerta and Cortines or that intoxication caused the injuries to the person who survived the crash.

She also discredited the investigation by police and said the photo evidence was no good.

“Did the intoxication cause this result? No, I don’t believe (the state) proved that,” Ramirez said.

Sentencing is scheduled for Monday morning.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct a victim’s name and the suspect’s blood alcohol content.