HOUSTON – A 19-year-old Adrienne Exum was killed in a suspected DUI crash in north Houston, according to Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The crash occurred after Sunday afternoon at 191 West Road at North Freeway.
The driver, identified as Heriberto Fuerte-Padilla, took off on foot. But, an off-duty deputy saw him and brought him back to the scene. He failed multiple field sobriety tests and admitted to drinking.
Fuerte-Padilla was charged with failure to stop and render aid & driving while under the influence, according to officials. Those charges could be upgraded.
“It’s 1:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday and alcohol is yet again at least a factor in a young woman dying on the side of the road,” said Sean Teare, the Head of the District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Division.
Sam Guar, who knew the victim Exum, and several family members watched sheriff’s deputies clean up the fatal crash on West Road at the North Freeway.
“I’m feeling sad right now I was just with her all yesterday,” Guar said. “She was a good person, a genuine person.”
Deputies say an altercation broke out between the victim’s friend and another male outside a bank parking lot. The friend of the teen jumped in the vehicle and then they were hit.
As she turned onto West Road, deputies say a Dodge Truck struck her from the side. The teen was ejected from the vehicle and died.
“Her door was open and she did not have her seatbelt open. She was ejected out of the vehicle into the roadway,” Sgt. Aric Albers with Harris County Sheriffs Office said.
According to investigators, the teen was struck in the head and sustained a significant injury. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She also had a passenger in her vehicle.
Deputies say the man driving the Dodge truck took off.
“He started walking away from the crash. He found a few hundred yards away in the parking lot by another officer who was off duty at the time,” Sgt. Albers said.
After a preliminary investigation, the driver of the Dodge Truck was found to be intoxicated. During the investigation, officials found cans of beer on the scene.
“Intoxicated or not, at fault or not, you are required to stay until everyone on that scene receives medical attention they may or may not need, in this case obviously the driver of that Mazda needed medical attention immediately. And he didn’t stick around, he didn’t call 911 on his way to walk away. He tried to call for a friend to get picked up,” Teare said.
Officials say they’re still working on the investigation and will collect surveillance from nearby businesses.