Port Lavaca and communities throughout Texas are joined together in mourning over the tragic death of 3-year-old Zaylen Gonzales, of Port Lavaca, who was killed after being struck by a vehicle on Tuesday.

Zaylen was immediately transported to Memorial Medical Center in Port Lavaca and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Noe Rodriguez Paez, 52, of Corpus Christi, was arrested the night of the fatal accident, taken to Calhoun County Jail, and charged with 'intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle'. Paez's bond has been set at $1,000,000.

Intoxication manslaughter is the highest degree intoxication-related defense and in Texas, Penal Code 49 states this is a second-degree felony which could lead to up to 20 years imprisonment with variables including if this was Paez's first offense. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

In a shocking static page provided by MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, the average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before their first arrest. About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders, while 50 to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.

"In the United States, a person dies in an alcohol-related driving accident every 50 minutes," the CDC says.

Last night a candlelight vigil took place in Port Lavaca for Zaylen while friends and family of Zaylen have flooded social media with precious photos of a young life taken too soon.

MADD offers a 24-hour victim hotline at 1.877. 623.3435.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app