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Driver accused of chasing teen and causing deadly crash turns himself in

HOUSTON – The driver who authorities said chased a 14-year-old driver, leading to a fatal New Year’s Day crash, turned himself in after he was indicted Monday.

Christopher Lopez, 48, was indicted on the charges of manslaughter, failure to stop and render aid and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the crash at Aldine Mail Route and Aldine Westfield Road.

The crash killed 45-year-old Silvia Zavala.

Investigators said a group of teens in a GMC Acadia, which was being driven by the 14-year-old, were throwing eggs at Lopez's vehicle.

Lopez then began to chase the teens’ SUV. Investigators said the SUV ran a red light at 60 mph and crashed into Zavala’s pickup.

"He pulled out a firearm. He fired shots at these kids. He chased them, getting to speeds of 100 miles an hour. He ran red lights with these kids. He is directly responsible for this woman dying," said Sean Teare, Assistant Harris County district attorney.

Prosecutors said witnesses saw Lopez flee the scene and run another red light before they lost sight of him.

Lopez hasn’t given deputies a statement, according to prosecutors.

The teens suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

The 14-year-old driver is charged with murder in connection with the crash.

Lopez faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


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