HOUSTON – The driver investigators said was “high on something” when he plowed into several stopped cars at a Houston intersection traveling up to 100 miles per hour has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Those charges could be upgraded, officials with the Harris County District Attorney’s office said.
“Anyone that’s seriously injured, that’s going to be an additional charge that this person’s facing,” said Sean Teare, the Harris County DA’s Vehicular Crimes Division Chief. “Right now, at minimum, he’s facing 20 years in prison.”
Ten people and six cars were involved. One man died, and seven others were injured, including the driver at-fault and two children — a 2-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister, investigators said.
Houston Police said the crash happened just before 4 p.m. on Monday when several cars were stopped at a light along Reed Rd. at Almeda Rd.
The driver-at-fault came from behind the stopped cars and “did not appear to brake” before plowing into them.
A family of four that was in a blue, rented sedan is expected to survive. The 2-year-old boy bit his tongue “pretty bad, and there was a lot of blood,” police said.
His 6-year-old sister sitting next to him in another car seat suffered “significant seatbelt-related injuries,” but both are expected to be OK, police on the scene added.
Their parents complained of aches and pains but were otherwise uninjured. Two others were uninjured, and a couple, a man and a woman, were hurt but not badly, police said.
The driver-at-fault was taken to Ben Taub hospital, where an officer will accompany him until he recovers, and he’ll be taken to jail, Teare said.
“This is just unacceptable in any scenario,” Teare added. “And this is the third scene in less than 24 hours where people have either lost their lives or potentially are going to lose their lives, and it’s all because of alcohol and drugs.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.