Suspected Drunk Driver Kills Newlyweds
Compiled From Staff Reports IRVING (CBS 11 News)
A North Texas elementary school teacher and her husband were killed early Monday morning by a suspected drunk driver.
A Dallas County sheriff's deputy pulled over Uriel Perez Palacios around 2 a.m. Monday after spotting him weaving through traffic, authorities said. As the deputy approached the car on foot, Palacios sped off with his lights off and drove through a red light, striking a sport utility vehicle carrying five Southern Methodist University students.
Palacios' car went airborne and crashed into an SUV, crushing it and killing the two occupants inside, authorities said. At least three others were injured, including two SMU students who were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
Erika Moreno Clout, 24, and her husband German Clout, 23, were returning from a date at the movies. They died at the scene.
Erika and German were married in July. German worked in construction and was an aspiring musician. Erika was a second-year teacher at Keyes Elementary School in Irving.
Tuesday, her students received the heartbreaking news. "She was a wonderful teacher and will be greatly missed," said Irma Vega-Zadeh, the principal at the elementary school where Clouet taught.
Laura Peters started teaching at Keyes last year along with Erika Clout. "I'm devastated, and think every one at this school is devastated. Everybody has called each other to make sure we're okay," said Peters. "We're all just preparing for tomorrow, to break the news to the students."
Public records reveal the 22-year-old suspect has a lengthy criminal history. There are 41 offenses on his record, including two DWI convictions, two felony DWI arrests and investigators say Palacios has been involved in two police chases.
Records indicate his most recent arrest was in June for driving while intoxicated and was released after paying a $500 fine.
Palacios is listed in serious condition at Baylor Hospital. His female passenger had to be cut from the vehicle and was also hospitalized.
Officials on Tuesday charged Palacios with two counts of murder and three counts of intoxication assault.
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