Gang member sentenced to 45 years in prison for fatal crash in Washburn Tunnel


HOUSTON – A Houston gang member was sentenced to 45 years in prison for a fatal head-on crash in which he was driving nearly twice the speed limit through the Washburn Tunnel in February 2016.

Christopher Simms, 36, was convicted of aggravated assault.

The trial lasted four days.

"This is a really dangerous guy who has already been sentenced to prison five times," Assistant District Attorney Ryan Trask said. "And eerily enough, his brother Tucker Sims was sentenced to prison in 2016 after being convicted for driving the wrong way in (a) crash in which he killed two people."

The brothers spell their last names differently, authorities said.

Simms, a member of the Houstone Tango Blast gang, has been dealing with legal issues since 1999, Trask said.

Simms was driving a sedan over 60 mph when he veered into oncoming traffic and crashed into a van being driven by 55-year-old Eduardo Gonzalez Pineda.

Pineda died seven days later at an area hospital.

Pineda’s adult son and a daughter testified about how his loss has impacted the family, especially his grandchildren.

“We forgive him, but he’ll have to live with this the rest of his life,” Pineda’s son said.