April 20, 2009 in City

Driver charged in deadly crash

Associated Press

HOUSTON – Police filed intoxication manslaughter charges Sunday against a driver who lost control of his car while using a cell phone, plunging the vehicle into a rain-filled ditch and killing five children inside.

Chanton Jenkins, 32, was in police custody facing four counts of intoxication manslaughter, one charge for each of the children found dead so far, said Houston police spokesman Kese Smith. Police said a relative told them Jenkins was the father of three of the victims.

Jenkins failed a field sobriety test following Saturday’s crash, which occurred after heavy rain turned the ditch into a torrent. The results of a blood alcohol test were pending, Smith said.

The search was continuing for the missing victim, a 3-year-old girl. A dive team searched a bayou for the child Sunday afternoon.

The bodies of three boys – ages 4, 7 and 11 – were found inside the vehicle. A body believed to be that of a 1-year-old girl swept away from the car was found Sunday.

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