Son faces manslaughter charge in dad’s fall off tractor

McALLEN — A morning of drinking at the mud pits here left one man dead and his son facing a felony manslaughter charge in connection with his death.

Fernando Hernandez-Ibarra is free after posting a $50,000 bond Tuesday on one count of intoxication manslaughter after an incident at the “mud pits” in McAllen on Monday morning that resulted in Oliverio Hernandez’s sudden death.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Monitor, the Edinburg man and the elder Hernandez, were traveling in a John Deer tractor at about 10 a.m. Monday in an open field, also known as the mud pits in South McAllen, when the younger Hernandez drove over a bump — causing his father Oliverio to fall off the tractor.

“(Fernando) stated his dad fell in between the front and rear left tire. (Fernando) stated he was unable to stop the tractor and drove over his dad’s head with the back left tire,” the complaint stated.

The officer wrote in his report that Fernando smelled of beer, and observed him to have bloodshot eyes, and an unsteady balance as he spoke to the officer.

Fernando then asked to sit and complained of experiencing a panic attack, the report stated.

Officers asked the 27-year-old man if he had been drinking; to which Fernando answered that he and his father had been drinking while working, and that he had “several beers.”

An ambulance was called for Fernando who was experiencing a panic attack, the report stated.

Once strapped onto the stretcher, the report goes on to state that an officer administered a sobriety field test on Fernando, specifically the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, which he subsequently failed.

“(Fernando) was not asked to do the Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand test due to him being strapped in the backboard (gurney),” the report stated.

Officers at the scene found a 15-pack of Natural Light Beer “that still had condensation and was still cold to the touch.”

Officers located seven unopened beers inside the box, the document stated.

Officers at the scene also attempted to treat Oliverio, who was suffering from severe head trauma, and not breathing when they arrived on the scene.

He was declared dead shortly thereafter at an area hospital.

If convicted of intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony, Hernandez-Ibarra faces a maximum 20 years in jail, and up to $10,000 in fines.