4 charged in traffic deaths of Galveston County mom, infant

HOUSTON (AP) — A bartender is among four Houston-area people charged in the death of a mother and her 3-month-old child killed in February when their car was slammed by an underage drunken driver.

The charges announced Thursday are the first involving a new Harris County district attorney task force that works to find the source of the alcohol in alcohol-related cases.

Evidence shows 20-year-old Veronica Rivas of Bacliff, under the legal drinking age of 21, drove a speeding SUV that killed 36-year-old Shayla Joseph and her infant son on an Interstate 45 service road.

Rivas has been indicted on two counts of intoxicated manslaughter. A 40-year-old bartender is charged with acting with criminal negligence. Two others, including the bar owner’s son, are charged with knowingly purchasing and providing alcohol to a minor.