December 14, 2022
An East Texas man who killed a mother and three children in a drunken driving crash in Houston was sentenced to four life sentences Monday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“We see more deaths from drunk driving between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than any other month a year,” Ogg said. “This heartbreaking case shows that a single person’s irresponsibility and bad decisions can result in the deaths of multiple people who are completely innocent, including kids.”
Daniel Canada, 37, was sentenced to four life sentences by state District Judge Colleen Gaido on Monday after he was convicted last week of four counts of intoxication manslaughter in a three-week trial. The life sentences will run concurrently.
Canada, who was visiting Houston from Longview, was driving around 100 miles an hour on FM 2920 when he crashed into the car driven by Porsha Branch about 8:20 p.m. on March 14, 2021. His blood alcohol level was 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit, and his blood test also showed marijuana and Xanax.
Branch’s sedan burst into flames in a seven-car pileup, instantly killing the 28-year-old and three of her sons: 7-month-old Drake, 2-year-old Messiah, and 5-year-old King.
Canada survived the crash with minor injuries.
Assistant District Attorney Lynn Nguyen, who prosecuted the case with ADA Erandy Marquez, said the verdict shows that the people of Harris County are tired of drunken driving deaths and will hold defendants accountable.
“Daniel Canada robbed three young children of the opportunity to grow into the people they could have become,” Nguyen said. “He robbed a mother of her life, a father of his entire family, and the community of a wonderful group of people, and he did all of this simply out of selfishness.”