Father, son charged in Rio Hondo Thanksgiving racing death

Reynaldo Mendoza and Ernesto Mendoza
Only have a minute? Listen instead
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A father and son from Rio Hondo are facing charges in connection with a deadly Thanksgiving crash.

A judge ordered Reynaldo Mendoza, 18, held on a $60,015 bond, charging him with racing on a highway causing death, accident resulting in death and tampering with evidence, the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office stated in a press release.

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

Meanwhile, the judge ordered his father, Ernesto Mendoza, held on a $45,000 bond, charging him with tampering with evidence and giving a false report to peace officer.

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. on Nov. 23, the Texas Department of Public Safety stated in a press release.

Authorities arrested Ernesto Mendoza on Friday.

Following an investigation, troopers arrested Reynaldo Mendoza on a warrant accusing him of racing on a highway involving death and tampering with physical evidence, officials stated.

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.

The case remains under investigation.