Driver in Clear Lake released from jail after crash left mom, baby dead

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Officials said a 20-year-old woman accused of killing a mom and her newborn baby in a drunk driving crash has been released from jail on a $30,000 bond. (KTRK)

A 20-year-old woman accused of killing a mom and her newborn baby in a drunk driving crash is walking free among us.

All the while, the family of 36-year-old Shayla Joseph and her 3-month-old baby, Braylan Jabari Joseph, are now faced with planning their funerals.

On Friday, Veronica Rivas faced a judge for the very first time after being released from jail on a $30,000 bond. "Oh my God, she's so sweet. She's just such a sweet, young girl. What made her choose this, what, I don't know," said Lori Bohannon, a friend of the Rivas family.

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Bohannon said Rivas' mother is inconsolable, overwhelmed by the weight of what happened. "They were so drunk, she doesn't even remember hitting the car," Bohannon told Eyewitness News.

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Veronica Rivas, 20, is accused of driving drunk and killing a mother and her newborn baby.

Police say the crash happened early Wednesday morning on the Gulf Freeway feeder road southbound near El Dorado Boulevard in Clear Lake.

Investigators said a white Lincoln SUV slammed into the back of a dark purple Toyota with Shayla and her baby inside.

Witnesses to the crash told police they heard Rivas mention she was coming from a bar. Court records don't say where.

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Even if we get the answer, a woman and her baby will never be able to return home to their husband and father.

"Just a young man starting out with a wife and baby, I just can't," Bohannon said. "It just makes me so sad, you know? These parents have got to tighten up. You have to tighten up. You have to know where these kids are at all times."

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