A 35 year old driver will be under arrest after a wrong-way crash on the Harbor Bridge that killed 2 people. The driver was hurt in the crash and is currently still in the hospital. She will be facing two counts of intoxication manslaughter charges and one count of intoxication assault. Both victims families have been torn apart.
On November 2, 2022 at approximately 7:30 p.m. Roxanne Palacios, an administrative manager of Flatiron Dragados, was celebrating at a downtown restaurant after the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) gave the contracting company the green light to continue on the Harbor Bridge project. Employees of Flatiron Dragados LLC were all in attendance at the Rail Road Restaurant located on the 1200 block of North Chaparral Street.
According to Crónica sources, Roxanne Palacios stumbled out of the Rail Road Restaurant when she was approached by a co-worker. The co-worker wanted to take away her keys away after he noticed she was heavily intoxicated, but she said she was fine and was going to go home in Portland. Palacios proceeded to get into a white Chevrolet Traverse and exited down Belden Street going westbound. She turned northbound on Tancahua Street where she took a wrong way turn on to Power Street that allowed her to go onto oncoming traffic on Highway 181. She proceeded north on the southbound lanes of the Harbor Bridge where she struck a Mazda vehicle and spun out and was struck by a Ford Expidition.
Mathew Banda was killed by the alleged intoxicated driver going the wrong-way as he was driving over the Harbor Bridge into Corpus Christi. He was a 27 year old married Navy sailor from Sinton, Texas who loved his child more than anything.
Betsy Mandujano was also killed after the head-on collision caused by the intoxicated driver. She was only 37 years old and was the communication operator for the San Patricio Sherriff’s Office for over ten years.
According to Crónica sources, back in 2018 the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) had been concerned of the Power Street exit that could possibly allow wrong-way drivers to enter into oncoming traffic on the Harbor Bridge. A proposal to place wrong-way spike strips on the highway would have punctured the tires of those entering the wrong-way. The proposal never materialized.
This is a developing story, stay tuned for more updates on the Corpus Christi Crónica as you hear it first.