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Man charged with murder in boating crash had two prior DWI convictions

Investigators say the man was operating the boat when it slammed into a bulkhead.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A man has been charged with murder following a fatal boat crash along the San Jacinto River, according to authorities.

The crash happened Sunday and left one person missing and two others injured.

A body believed to be that of the missing boater was found Tuesday morning. Authorities have not yet confirmed a cause of death.

The crash also left Galan Ruiz, and woman injured near Rio Villa. Ruiz is now facing a murder charge as well as intoxication assault.

Both Ruiz and the woman are still hospitalized with serious injuries.

Investigators say Ruiz was operating a boat when it slammed into a bulkhead.


Searching for the missing boater was tough because of all the debris that had piled up recently due to heavy rain. Sonar radar had a hard time distinguishing between a body and the debris.

On Monday, Harris County Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare said Ruiz will be charged with felony murder once the identity of the body is confirmed as the missing boater, based on his two prior DWI convictions.

“Everybody involved is praying that’s what happened, that he was disoriented and is alive somewhere,” said Teare. “That’s the best-case scenario, so we’re not going to file a charge or speculate as to identity until we actually have definitive evidence one way or the other.”

Teare says there’s video of the incident, showing the boat going at a high rate of speed before crashing into the bulkhead.

“This is just another example of how deadly it can be to mix alcohol and motor vehicles of any kind,” said Teare. “It’s an extra added danger when you add water to it.”


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