Prosecutors won’t seek death penalty for East Texas man in crash that killed 2 children

Crime & Public Safety

TEXARKANA, Texas (KETK) – East Texas prosecutors announced on Monday that they would not be seeking the death penalty for a man who allegedly intentionally crashed his truck after an argument with his girlfriend and killed two children in the other car.

Lawyers for the state cited 21-year-old Zachary Salazar’s history of mental illness of why they would be seeking life in prison without parole instead.

Salazar was arguing with his girlfriend on Facebook Messenger about his desire for her to move to Texarkana on the evening of the crash on January 13.

Investigators state in an arrest warrant that Salazar and the woman had been dating for the past two months, she had become pregnant, and that Salazar had felt pressured into the relationship.

The affidavit states that Salazar forwarded a message saying, “if this night gets any f***ing worse than it already is I’m probably gonna end up killing someone, or killing myself. One of the f***ing two.”

The girlfriend blocked him on Facebook Messenger, so he drove to her home 45 minutes later. Salazar was told to leave the home by the girlfriend’s mother.

Investigators said that Salazar stated, “F*** it, I’ll go wreck,” and got into the vehicle involved in the fatal collision. 

The two children killed in the wreck were 7-year-old Riley Burgess and 3-year-old James Crowley. Three other people in the vehicle with the children survived the crash. 

Salazar is being held on a $5 million bond in the Bowie County Jail.

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