Woman charged with murder after fatal accident on 610 West Loop

BELLAIRE, Texas – A woman is charged with murder after a five-car pileup Saturday on the 610 West Loop that killed a man.

According to court documents, Arnesia C. Washington admitted to driving while intoxicated with two children in the car. The 2-year-old and the 7-month-old were in car seats, but the seats were not restrained, prosecutors said.

She appeared before a judge Monday morning, and left the courtroom with tears streaming down her face.

Washington, 30, was involved in two minor hit-and-run accidents earlier Saturday. The victims involved in those crashes followed Washington to exchange information when they witnessed the fatal crash.

Police said Washington was speeding along the West Loop northbound at Evergreen Street when she slammed into a motorcycle being ridden by Steven Rudoff, causing the pileup, court documents said.

"The information we have so far is she continued driving after she struck our victim and only stopping after she was stopped by some of the same witnesses," prosecutor Alison Baimbridge said.

A nurse who witnessed the crash gave Rudoff CPR, but he later died.

"Some of the situation is similar to alcohol because of the type of drugs she was on. Depressants are like alcohol so the results done so far is similar to alcohol impairment, but there wasn't indication she consumed alcohol prior to driving," Baimbridge said.

The felony murder charge stems from the fact that she had children in the car. If convicted, Washington faces five to 99 years or life in prison.

The crash closed the freeway for nearly four hours.

Bellaire police continue to investigate and ask for any witnesses to come forward.