By DAVID LOPEZ
The driver involved in a car accident in La Paloma that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Emma Danielle Ybarra was arraigned before a judge in the late afternoon of July 31.
According to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, 21-year old Martin Zamorano was charged with involuntary intoxicated manslaughter with vehicle (a 2nd degree felony), punishable by up to two to 20 years in prison and with a bond of $75,000. He was also charged with three separate counts of intoxicated assault with vehicle (a 3rd degree felony), punishable by up to two to 10 years in prison. Each of the latter charges had a bond of $35,000, making Zamorano’s total bond $180,000.
According to reports, on July 27 at approximately 2:56 a.m., Zamorano and five other passengers crashed into a ditch at a mud pit in La Paloma while driving in a Ford F-150 pickup truck, resulting in the death of Emma Ybarra and leaving the other passengers, including the driver, hospitalized with some in critical condition.
“There were six passengers total in the vehicle, and all remain hospitalized in critical condition,” said Chief Deputy Gus Reyna, Jr. on Tuesday before the arraignment.
Although arraigned and detained in the infirmary of the Carrizales Detention Center on Wednesday afternoon, Zamorano posted bail the same night and was released.
The family of Emma Ybarra declined to comment.
However, a public fundraiser on Facebook posted by Ybarra’s aunt Michelle Marroquin Ybarra offered the following words: “My niece Emma Ybarra was unexpectedly taken from us on 7/27/19. Emma was a very intelligent and independent woman, she was kind and giving and loved her family. Our family is completely devastated, I am setting up this account so that we can provide her parents with financial assistance to help cover funeral cost. Thank you on behalf of the Ybarra family.”
As of press time, the fundraiser had exceeded its $5,000 goal, totaling $8,431 in funds.