Fatal car crash victim's mother questions accident

Witnesses say Jessica Rodriguez was stopped by HPD before crash

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

HOUSTON - Questions surround a car accident that killed a 19-year-old woman. The woman's mother said she questions whether a Houston police officer could have prevented it from happening.

Police said Jessica Rodriguez, 19, was thrown from her SUV in the 9400 block of Bellaire around 7:20 Sunday morning.

Rodriguez was taken to Ben Taub Hospital where she later died.

"She died in surgery," said Rodriguez's mother, Tomeka Wattell. "She had brain injuries and internal injuries." 

Wattell said her daughter had just dropped friends off and was heading home when the crash happened. But, she said, there are some unanswered questions about what happened before the crash.

Sources told Local 2, Rodriguez had stopped in a moving lane of traffic and was just sitting in her car.

Witnesses said an HPD officer stopped to check on the Rodruguez and then sent her on her way. The crash happened a short time later.

"The police had come to the car and she was sleeping or she had run out of gas," said Wattell. "They talked with her and then let her go. Right after he let her go, the accident happened."

Wattell wonders if that officer could have done more to prevent her daughter's death. It's unclear why Rodriguez was sitting in her car, but Wattell said something must have been wrong.

"I just think she probably fell asleep or something," she said. "I think they should have dug into it more to see what was really going on."

The Houston Police Department did launch an Internal Affairs investigation and a spokesperson told Local 2 they are trying to locate witnesses and conduct interviews to find out what happened before the crash.

"I'm not looking to blame anyone," Wattell said. "I'm just waiting to find out more information."

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