42ºF

$100,000 bail set for driver charged with intoxication manslaughter after man on motorized scooter hit and killed

HOUSTON – A $100,000 bail has been set for a driver charged with intoxication manslaughter connected to a fatal crash near the intersection of Bellaire Boulevard and Atwell Drive.

Carlos Lopez-Obispo, 57, drove his pickup truck off the road, jumped the curb, traveled down the sidewalk and hit signposts before slamming into a 39-year-old man who was on a motorized scooter Thursday night, investigators said. The crash was reported at about 8 p.m.

The victim died on the way to an area hospital, police said.

Carlos Lopez-Obispo is seen in a mug shot released by the Houston Police Department on Feb. 7, 2020.
Carlos Lopez-Obispo is seen in a mug shot released by the Houston Police Department on Feb. 7, 2020. (HPD)

Estela Rodriguez was one of the first people to arrive at the scene.

“I saw the scooter over there, the seat was somewhere over there, and the guy was laying over here,” she said.

Rodriguez said the victim was wearing a gown and bracelets as if he had just been released from a hospital. She and another woman found the victim’s phone nearby.

“I told her to pick it up and call the last number that appears on it so we can let [his parents] know,” said Rodriguez. “She did it and she finally got in contact with his mom.”

Prior to the crash, Syed Shah, a cashier at Phillips 66, said the victim was buying apple juice inside the convenience store.

“When he came to the counter, he paid me and he said hello, hi – just nice talking, you know?” said Shah. “Then, he left outside.”

Shah was the last person to speak with him.

“After five minutes, a big sound – boom,” said Shah. “A truck hit his scooter.”

Surveillance cameras at another nearby business captured the pickup truck seconds before impact.

Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said Lopez-Obispo could be facing additional charges.

“We’re going to look for what his blood-alcohol concentration is going to be. We believe right now it’s about double the legal limit,” said Teare. “We’re also going to be looking for any other prescription or illicit drugs in there that combine to make someone drive the way he drove.”

According to Teare, Harris County routinely ranks first in the nation for alcohol-related fatalities. He expects the trend to continue this year.

“We are less than two months in,” said Teare. “I mean, just barely over one, and we already have somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 charged intoxicated manslaughter or felony murder cases.”


About the Authors: