Rio Hondo man accused of racing in Thanksgiving fatal crash

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Authorities have arrested Reynaldo Mendoza, 18, over accusations he caused a fatal crash on Nov. 23, 2023. (Courtesy: Texas Department of Public Safety/DPS)

An 18-year-old Rio Hondo man is facing criminal charges after authorities accused him of racing a car involved in a fatal crash on Thanksgiving.

On Thursday, state troopers arrested Reynaldo Mendoza after an investigation found he was racing a blue Ford Mustang against a Chevrolet Silverado when the Silverado hit a Saturn Outlook, killing its driver during a crash on FM 106 east of Nelson Road in Rio Hondo at about 10 a.m. Nov. 23, Texas Department of Public Safety officials stated in a press release.

Troopers arrested Mendoza on a warrant accusing him of racing on a highway involving death and tampering with physical evidence, the press release stated.

The crash remains under investigation.

A preliminary investigation found the Silverado was traveling eastbound on FM 106 when its driver entered the opposite lane in an attempt to pass, hitting the brown Saturn Outlook, killing Jorge Villanueva, 42, of Rio Hondo, who died at the scene, the press release stated.

Meanwhile, the driver of the Chevrolet was taken to Valley Baptist Medical Center before he was flown to Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, officials stated.