DALLAS – A car driven by a drunk driving suspect with four previous DWI arrests raced away from a sheriff's deputy, ran a red light then went airborne after a wreck and landed on top of an SUV, killing a newlywed couple inside, authorities said.
Second-grade teacher Erika Clouet, 24, and her husband of a little over a month, construction worker and aspiring musician German Clouet, 23, of Irving, were killed in the accident early Monday.
The driver, Uriel Perez Palacios, 22, of Dallas, remained in the hospital Tuesday. His 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. A phone listing for Palacios could not be found.
Palacios was arrested as recently as June for driving while intoxicated and was released after paying a $500 fine. He was also involved in two police chases and had four outstanding drug and DWI warrants, officials said.
A Dallas County sheriff's deputy pulled over 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 the Clouets' SUV, crushing it and killing them at the scene, authorities said. The couple was returning from a date at the movies.
"She was a wonderful teacher and will be greatly missed," said Irma Vega-Zadeh, the principal at the elementary school where Clouet taught.
At least three others were injured, including two SMU students who were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
"Many deputies said it was one of the worst accidents that they ever saw," Dallas County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kimberlee Leach said in a story on The Dallas Morning News' Web site. "You couldn't make out what kinds of vehicles were involved."