LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas -– Deputies said two men were taken into custody following a crash that injured a Liberty County judge and his wife overnight.
According to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Judge Craig McNair and his wife, Lisa, were sent to the hospital by Life Flight shortly after midnight Friday.
Sgt. Joel Davila said the wreck occurred in the 800 block of CR 603 just north of Hwy. 90.
Judge McNair was traveling northbound in his 2012 GMC pickup when a southbound 2007 Ford Expedition with “red and blue” lights crossed over and struck the judge’s vehicle head-on, deputies said.
Deputies arrived at the scene, and the judge and his wife were sent to the hospital in unknown condition. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Edgar Mata at the scene claimed to be the driver that caused the crash, deputies said.
The investigation soon revealed that Mata’s 17-year-old brother, German Mata, was the actual driver. Deputies said he fled to his home about a mile away and was asleep in bed when they found him. He apparently suffered minor injuries. Both Edgar and German Mata were taken into custody, deputies said.
It was not clear why German had red and blue lights on his SUV, but both men are facing charges for the crash, officials said.
According to Sgt. Davila, Edgar was charged with making a false report and public intoxication. His brother, German, was charged with failure to stop and render aid, improper use of red and blue lights, and driving without a license.
Both brothers were placed in the Liberty County jail and will go before the judge later, deputies said.
Deputies released an updated condition on the judge and his wife later in the day Saturday. Sheriff Bobby Rader reported the judge was bruised and sore with some cuts -- but no broken bones. Mrs. McNair seemed to have suffered the most injuries with a broken leg, some broken fingers and cuts. She underwent surgery for the broken leg.
Judge McNair has requested prayers for his wife during this recovery period.
The sheriff’s office said, on behalf of the family, the public’s concern is “sincerely appreciated.”