Woman, 22, Charged In Crash That Left 2 Central Texas Children Dead

Shelby Whitney Taylor (Jail photo)

KILGORE (July 11, 2014) Shelby Whitney Taylor, 22, of Henderson, remained in the Rusk County Jail Friday charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of driving while intoxicated in an early-morning crash Thursday near Kilgore that left two Central Texas children dead.

Ryera Patel, 5, and Trish Patel, 12, both of Caldwell, died in the crash early Thursday on Highway 259.

They and their parents, Ketanbahai Patel, 42, who was driving, and Heenda Patel, 43, who was a passenger, were headed north on U.S. Highway 59 when another vehicle whose driver was headed south in the northbound lane struck the family’s van.

The children were pronounced dead at the scene.

They were not wearing seat belts, authorities said.

Heenda Patel was taken to Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview in critical condition.

Ketanbahai Patel was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later released, authorities said.

Taylor and her passenger, a 21-year-old Austin woman, were treated and later released.

Taylor was booked into jail after she was treated Thursday.