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Alleged drunk driver responsible for Texas crash that killed Phoenix man, deputies say

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 00:22:06-05

SAN ANTONIO — An alleged drunk driver is accused of killing a Valley father in a crash just outside of San Antonio as he and his family were on their way to Florida.

A family friend, and local media in Texas, identified the victim of the crash as 36-year-old Fred Jolayemi from Arizona.

"He was a great father, a wonderful son," said friend Kris Vanica. "A great brother and just a great human being."

The crash occurred on December 22nd along Interstate 10 in Texas. Fred, his wife and daughter were on their way to Florida when they were involved in a crash. The Bexar County Sheriff says a deputy responded to that crash and was parked behind a tow truck. That's when the Sheriff says 30-year-old Natalie Saldana, an alleged drunk driver, slammed into the patrol vehicle which was parked about 75 feet away from the tow truck.

"At some point the patrol car actually flipped and landed on top of the two victims, pinning them underneath" said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.

The father later passed away, reportedly on Christmas Eve. His wife, who was also pinned, and daughter survived the crash. The daughter was inside the patrol vehicle when the crash occurred, Salazar said.

Sheriff Salazar said Saldana is facing a charge of intoxication manslaughter.

"My heart just sunk because there's just no reason to drive drunk," Vanica said. "There's so many options."

Vanica told ABC15 Jolayemi was an organ donor.

"While we are mourning the loss of somebody we loved so much there are families out there that are rejoicing in the gift he was able to give them and their families," Vanica said.

Funeral services are set for this coming weekend.

Vanica set up a GoFundMe page to help cover costs.