Manslaughter charges filed against 18-year-old in crash that killed Texas police officer

Manslaughter charges filed against 18-year-old in crash that killed Texas police officer
Luis Torres (Bob Hope High School)

BEAUMONT, Texas — An 18-year-old has been charged after crashing head-on into a Beaumont, Texas, police cruiser early Saturday morning, killing one officer and injuring another.

Lt. Chuck Havard, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed Luis Torres of Port Arthur was charged Wednesday with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault in the Sunday crash, KBMT reported.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Torres’ blood alcohol content was nearly four times the legal limit at the time of the crash, the TV station reported.

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A deputy, quoted in the affidavit, also stated “Additional information about Torres’ activities leading to this event were found on several different media platforms. Torres’ own admission to consuming alcohol, and witness testimony all illustrate a night of heavy drinking, KDFM reported.

Officer Sheena Yarbrough-Powell, 23, of Lumberton was killed in the 2:30 a.m. crash. She was a passenger in the Beaumont Police SUV cruiser when it was struck by a 2006 Mustang, driven by Torres, traveling south in the northbound lanes without headlights, KBMT reported.

Officer Gabriel Fells, 28, who was driving the cruiser at the time of the 2:30 a.m. crash, suffered serious injuries and was released from the hospital Wednesday, the TV station reported.

If convicted of either or both charges, Torres could face as many as 99 years or life in prison because each charge carried an enhancement due to both victims being law enforcement officers, KDFM reported.