Drunk Driving Charged and Auto Manufacturer Sued in Houston Car Accident That Killed 8-Year-Old Child

A community is reeling following a Houston car accident that claimed the life of an 8-year-old girl: the matter has been made doubly worse by the fact that the at-fault driver was apparently driving while heavily intoxicated and a defective driver’s seat in the family car apparently contributed to her injuries.

The Houston car accident took place in League City last month. 41-year-old Erika Diebel was charged with intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle after she rammed into the back of a family vehicle. Kelsey Nalepa, a third-grader at Rose Elementary School, was traveling with her parents when the accident occurred. According to League City Police public information officer Kelly Williamson, “The probable cause indicated that she was intoxicated.”

The blood sample that police took from Diebel after the accident reflected a blood alcohol concentration of .249, which is three times the legal limit for those operating a vehicle. Additionally, an investigation has revealed that the driver’s seat in which the child’s father was sitting failed following the impact, collapsing backward and hitting the child in the head.

Victims of car accidents need a powerful voice speaking for them. If you or someone you love has been injured or worse, contact the personal injury law firm of Danziger & De Llano today.


A case specialist will respond to your request within 24 hours. Fill out the form to request a FREE case evaluation or call 1-866-222-9990.

Driver and Auto Manufacturer in Fatal Houston Car Accident Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit

After causing the fatal Houston car accident, Ms. Diebel was taken into custody. She was later released from jail after posting bond and faces both criminal charges and a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of the 8-year old who she killed. Also facing charges is the Ford Motor Company, which the family is saying was negligent in the design and manufacturing of the 2009 Expedition that the family was traveling in.

Similar charges were filed by another family whose child was critically injured in a 2012 accident in San Antonio involving an Audi that was rear ended and whose driver’s seat failed. That family was awarded $124 million in damages.

Car accidents are rarely straightforward events. Multiple parties may be responsible for injuries, so victims need an experienced law firm that will take the time to investigate and pursue all possibilities. For information on how Danziger & De Llano can help you, call us at 1-866-222-9990.

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.