Police: Suspect over-served before crash that killed Lyft passenger
CLEAR LAKE, Texas – A ride-sharing passenger is dead Friday after the Lyft vehicle in which they were riding was hit by a driver who police said had had numerous shots of tequila at a bar in southeast Houston.
According to police, the accident happened around 1 a.m. in the 14800 block of Galveston Road near Pineloch Drive and involved two pickup trucks and a silver Dodge Caliber sedan with an Uber sticker on it. The driver works for both Uber and Lyft, but was driving for Lyft at the time, the company confirmed to KPRC2.
The driver of a gray Dodge Ram truck was traveling north on Galveston Road when he slammed into a silver Mazda B2300 pickup truck which was stopped at the red light.
The Ram truck then hit the Caliber which was turning left on Galveston Road with a green light.
Authorities said the passenger of the Lyft ride-sharing sedan, who was in the back seat, was killed in the crash.
The victim has been identified as 40-year-old Bill Satterfield.
The driver of the Caliber was transported to Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
Both pickup truck drivers were evaluated for intoxication, officers said.
The driver of the Dodge pickup truck, identified as 21-year-old Erik Julian Deleon, is charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.
DeLeon remains at the hospital.
The driver of the second pickup truck, identified as 32-year-old Jesse Mercado, is charged with driving under the influence.
Neither of the truck pickup drivers were severely injured and both are expected to be OK.
Investigators said DeLeon said he had had several shots of tequila at a nearby bar.
Authorities initially said DeLeon told investigators he was at a Bombshells on I-45 Gulf Freeway, but then said he wasn't sure if he was at that bar or another bar.
Officials said whoever served DeLeon could face charges, too.
A source said the suspected drunk driver is expected to be charged with a crime early next week.
He said the person had not yet been identified but the search for the server had been definitively scaled down to just two establishments.
"We have been reviewing video from the two bars," the source said.
Lyft released a statement to KPRC2 that read: "We are deeply saddened by the news of this tragic accident and resulting loss of life. Our thoughts are with all those impacted. We have reached out to those involved and stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation."
While authorities were investigating, a fourth vehicle drove through a police barricade and crashed into a patrol unit. No officers were injured and that driver was also evaluated for intoxication.
When KPRC2 asked Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg about Friday's case, she said her office wants to get to the source of the crime, and not treat the symptom.
"You can arrest drunks all day long for driving, but it's important to know if there are establishments that are illegally serving them who caused that to happen, " Ogg said. "Those institutions (need to) be held accountable."
"All restaurants and bars are well aware that their servers should not serve drunks, that they should ask for legal identification," she said.
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