'It was very hard': Witness, family member recall victims in deadly Heights crash

HOUSTON – At the scene of a fatal crash Saturday, straddled along N. Shepherd Drive near 10th Street, there were shopping bags, groceries and a wheelchair that all belonged to 64-year-old Jesus Perez.

"It was very hard, you know, to see that," Renee Martinez said.

Martinez, a relative of Perez, can't stop thinking about what she saw.

Perez was wheelchair-bound and was headed to his bus stop Saturday night with groceries tied to his wheelchair as he crossed N. Shepherd.

"This area is dark. The traffic is constantly moving. It's a busy intersection and it's really fast traffic," Martinez said.

The traffic is why Lesha Adams, who is in her 50s, stopped to help Perez cross the street.

"Went to help the person get across the street, and they both were struck by a vehicle," a police official said.

Both Adams and Perez were struck and killed.

Houston police said the driver of the vehicle that struck them initially fled the scene but returned.

"Lesha was always first to give help, to render aid," Adams' family member Kopi Vogiatzis said.

Adams' daughters, ages 11 and 13, were in their mother's vehicle. They realized they needed to act fast in order to get help.

"They are the ones who called 911 ... and called their (other) mom, Stephanie, who was out on the west side of town," Vogiatzis said.

Perez's family wants to spread awareness about accessibility for the physically disabled.

"It just needs to be safer than what we've seen right here," Martinez said. "In a wheelchair, or whether you're walking, pushing a baby, you want to feel safe trying to catch a bus."

The grand jury will decide on if the driver suspected of hitting them will be charged.

About the Author:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.