GALVESTON, Texas - Two children and two adults tragically lost their lives Saturday night in Galveston after investigators say a suspected drunk driver crashed into their golf cart.
Officers with the Galveston Police Department were called to the intersection of 33rd St. and Avenue R a little after 11:30 p.m. That's where officials found two wrecked-out vehicles as well as a golf cart.
Preliminary details from witnesses and investigators are the driver of a black Hyundai SUV was heading eastbound on Avenue R and crashed into a golf cart going northbound as well as a black Dodge pick-up that was heading southbound.
Officials said there were a total of six people in the golf cart, three of them adults, and three others were children. During a press conference with the Galveston PD, investigators said they were "disturbed" by the incident.
The unidentified driver of the cart was pronounced dead at the scene by responding officers. All other passengers were rushed to the University of Texas Medical Branch, where two children and one of the passengers, an unidentified woman, sadly died from their injuries.
Another child and an adult passenger from the golf cart, however, remain in serious condition at the hospital. Investigators believe two separate families were in the rented golf cart at the time of the crash but were unable to release additional details, as of this writing.
Galveston Mayor Craig Brown, who also delivered remarks in a press conference, noted golf carts have become "a prolific mode of transportation" on the Island. And while ordinances were passed about six months or so prior, the mayor stated additional steps will be taken to ensure an incident like this does not happen again.
"We're seeing more and more golf carts on the island here that are on streets…they are not designed to be on because of the speed limit," Mayor Brown said. "We're seeing golf carts with too many people in the golf carts… we're seeing numerous golf carts with children in the golf carts, no seat belts, and more individuals in the golf carts, so it's become quite a concern here on the island."
"We take the responsibility of providing a safe environment for all of our business here very seriously," the mayor continued. "And when we have situations like this, it causes us to take pause and to look at what else we can do to become provide a safer environment for all of our business."
Occupants of the pickup were fortunate to not receive any injuries.
Meanwhile, authorities identified the Hyundai driver as Miguel Espinoza, 45, of Rosenberg, who suffered minor injuries as well as a passenger inside his SUV. They were also taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston but later released.
However, Espinoza was taken into custody and charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter.
Miguel Espinoza, 45 (Photo courtesy of Galveston County)
The 45-year-old was booked in Galveston County on a $400,000 bond.
No additional information has been released, as of this writing, but an investigation remains underway.