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Man investigates mother's death to clear her name

Elma Pena's son has posted these flyers around the stretch of FM 78 where his mother was hit by a car.

BEXAR COUNTY - A man is leading his own investigation into a deadly crash that took his mom's life. He also says he's working to clear his mom's good name.

Elma Pena, 73, was struck by a car on December 17th in northeast Bexar County near Converse. It was around 8:30 p.m. on a dark stretch of FM 78 near Beech Trail Drive.

Deputies at the scene claimed Elma was drunk when she stumbled into the middle of the road.

But Elma’s son Jeff says that’s simply not possible. He says his mother never drinks.

"Any theory that my mom had been drinking and drunkenly stumbled onto the street is completely false," Pena says.

Jeff says his mom had just gotten off the bus and was headed home, a route she walked five times a week. It was at this exact moment, he says, when a Toyota pulled out of the Circle K right across the street from the bus stop.

"Just out of nowhere, they hit my mom," Pena says. "They said that they didn't see her."

The 23-year-old driver did stop to render aid and was not charged with any crimes.

Deputies claimed Elma smelled of alcohol.

“It’s not only puzzling, it’s actually disheartening," Pena says. "My mom is a 73-year-old lady who doesn't drink. She's epileptic more importantly."

He says her trip to the hospital confirmed this.

"The toxicology report on the intake at the ER was that she had zero alcohol in her system," Pena claims.

If that’s the case, why did deputies say Elma was intoxicated?

"Was the scene manipulated," Pena wonders. "I don't know. That's the question."

And that's why he's doing his own investigation, putting up signs next to the bus stop and neighboring businesses, asking potential witnesses to come forward.

"My family has all these questions," he says. "And honestly, there's probably not going to be any peace until we have those answers."

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office says this is still very much an open investigation, and the Traffic Homicide Unit continues to follow up leads, review surveillance footage, and interview witnesses.

If you know anything about this case, call investigators at 210-335-6070 or send an email to bcsotips@bexar.org

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