Sole survivor speaks out since shrimp basin accident

Shrimp basin accident

The only survivor of a deadly accident at a Brownsville shrimp basin spoke exclusively with Action 4 News confirming she was behind the wheel.

The heartbroken 14-year-old girl described the moments just before the car plunged into 25-feet of water killing her mother, her younger siblings and a close friend of the family. Debbie Alvarez said she is still in shock as she recalled the moments right before the accident that claimed her family TMs lives.

It was suppose to be a family fun day and an outing a 4 year-old would never forget. "My brothers wanted to go see the boats and he (Juan Pablo Morales) invited us over there," Alvarez said.

Close family friend Juan Pablo Morales would take them on their last trip.

The 4,7, and 10-year-old were thrilled, but before making the stop at the basin they stopped for a bite to eat.

Debbie never imagined it would be the last meal she would eat with her family. When asked if she remembered any of the last moments with her mom, Debbie said they were playing a game that made the teen laugh.

But laughter TMs turned into a nightmare soon after they arrived at the shrimp basin with Morales.

"He needed to move his boat and he told me to move the car, Alvarez said. But I didn't know how. He told me it was going to be okay."

But everything wasn't okay.

Debbie said she thinks 56-year-old Juan was drunk as he insisted the teen move the SUV.

Debbie said her mom, Juana Alvarez, told him Debbie didn't know how to drive.

She said he kept insisting

"Then we were going to go already, but he said ~Look this is how you drive. TM and then I got in and he told me to go to the front and I started driving," Debbie said.

After that, the teen couldn't bear to remember the horrific tragedy.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said Debbie drove around to the South side of the dock and as she was getting close to the water, she panicked and instead of applying the brakes, she pushed the gas.

"She said ~The only thing I did was try to get out and I had a hard time and the next time I knew, someone pulling me from the hair getting me out to the car to the top of the dock," Debbie said.

Sheriff Lucio said the teen told investigators she didn't want to drive but Juan Pablo insisted.

The family is preparing for funeral arrangements. Anyone who would like to help out with donations can contact 312-1604.

Sheriff Lucio said as of now, the case is ruled as an accident.

The Cameron County Sheriff TMs Department is still compiling evidence on whether charges could be filed against the 14-year-old.

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