Police: Man that killed mother, son was driving at twice legal limit

Santiago Vega, left, and mother Cynthia, killed in a crash on SH 71 near Spicewood on Nov. 28, 2016 (Family Photos)
Santiago Vega, left, and mother Cynthia, killed in a crash on SH 71 near Spicewood on Nov. 28, 2016 (Courtesy/Vega Family Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Investigators say the driver who caused a crash in November on State Highway 71 near Spicewood was driving with twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system.

Cynthia Vega and her son Santiago were killed. Now, Blanco County authorities have charged Chandra Sekhar Gutti Bala with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault with a vehicle.

Family of Vega and her son have also filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

“This was the day that Samantha — my sister Cynthia’s oldest — got married,” Joe Huguet says. He is still trying to cope with the loss of his sister Cynthia and his nephew Santiago.

Cynthia Vega with son, Santiago Vega (Courtesy/Family Photo)
Cynthia Vega with son, Santiago Vega (Courtesy/Family Photo)

Santiago was 17, set to graduate from Lake Travis High School in May, his mother was ready to start a new job. “She had one of those laughs that you didn’t want to hear it, but yet I miss it so much now, but I want to hear it,” Huguet said. “What I wouldn’t give to hear that laugh again, it was just a contagious laugh.”

A laugh family attorneys say was taken at the hands of a drunk driver.

“At eight in the morning you don’t just wake up with a .17 blood alcohol content, you want to investigate where that driver got the alcohol and why he was so intoxicated that early in the morning,” Brad Bonilla, the family attorney says. He’s heading up the civil portion of the Gutti Bala case.

Family says they know it won’t bring their loved ones back, but hope it will bring them justice.

“I think about them every day especially reminded every day when we’re driving to Austin from where we live, we have to pass by there every day,” Huguet said, fighting back tears.

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