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Autopsy: Driver intoxicated in December crash

Assistant News Editor

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 23:01

The autopsy and toxicology reports on the driver in the fatal car accident that killed three Sam Houston State University students in December have been obtained by the Houstonian.

An autopsy conducted by Montgomery County Forensic Services Department found that Blanca Espinal, 19, died of multiple blunt injuries and declared her death an accident. The toxicology report noted Espinal’s blood alcohol content of .21g/100mL, almost three times the legal limit. according to Texas Penal Code §49.01. The toxicology report also indicated that in her system was 2.0 ng/mL of tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive found in marijuana.

The accident also killed SHSU students Eric Torres, 22 and Alfanso Mata, 20, and put the lone survivor, Thomas Roling, 22, in the hospital.

University Police Department received a call in the early hours on Dec. 14, 2013, of a crash at the intersection of Bowers Boulevard and Avenue I. According to a police investigation of the incident, the vehicle in question struck a portion of sidewalk in the center of the intersection, causing it to become airborne. Police arrived on the scene to find a vehicle resting upside down against the stairwell of Academic Building IV.

According to UPD’s incident report, Roling “had extracted himself from the vehicle and was standing outside of the vehicle on law enforcement arrival.”

The police report also indicated that Torres was in the back seat and was partially ejected from the sunroof of the car before it came to its final resting place. Both victims in the back seat were not wearing seatbelts, the report stated.

An investigation into the crash is still ongoing by UPD.

The Houstonian will continue to cover the investigation as more information is available.

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