HOUSTON – Three valet workers were killed after a vehicle involved in a police pursuit struck hit them at high speed near a sports bar Friday night, Houston police said.
Investigators said Ahmedal Tayeb Elnouman Modawi, 17, has been charged with three counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.
Police said the incident happened near Prospect Park at the corner of Fairdale Lane and Fountainview Drive.
Bob Lowry was at The Deck on Fountainview when the accident happened.
“It sounded like a clap of thunder. I looked over and a car just came flying through the air and hit the ditch,” Lowry said.
Officers reportedly attempted to pull over a vehicle after they say Modawi was seen driving recklessly -- doing burnouts and donuts -- in a parking lot. Investigators said the vehicle reached speeds of 60 mph and struck three valet workers before crashing into a ditch.
“Just doing their jobs, God bless them. I hope justice has a swift hand,” Lowry said.
The three valet workers have been identified as Eric Orduna, Nick Rodriguez and Fnan Measho.
“We’re talking about three individuals who were just out here working. They were out here doing their job. They were coming back from parking cars going to get more cars,” said Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “We’re going to prosecute this person to the fullest extent because this is completely unacceptable.”
Modawi and his male passenger each sustained a broken leg and were transported to an area hospital in stable condition, police said.
The three victims were members of Prospect Park South’s contract valet team. KPRC 2 sources said Modawi worked as a valet himself at Cafe Mawal, which also contracts with PPS. Sources also said Modawi was behind the wheel of a customer’s car when he caused the deadly accident.
His father told KPRC 2 that he was not sure who owns the vehicle.
“I don’t know. I do not have any information,” Modawi’s father said. “I’m too much sad for that.”
Modawi’s neighbors described the teen as mischievous and said they’ve had a number of issues with Modawi and his two brothers in the year the family has lived in the neighborhood. One neighbor said she had to call the police on Modawi last week.
“I nicely asked the young boy to stop and he said I don’t have to listen to you and called me out my name,” she said. “I went to the parents and the parents made him come and apologize.
Prospect Park released the following statement Saturday afternoon:
“On Friday, October 1, 2021, at approximately 10:30 PM, there was an accident near the premises of Prospect Park South (3100 Fountain View Drive). Three members of our contract valet team were fatally struck by a vehicle on Fairdale Road. The incident is currently being investigated by the Houston Police Department. We have been in contact with the families of the victims, and we ask that you keep the families of the three victims in your thoughts and prayers. In the forthcoming days, we will have additional information listed on @Prospectparkhouston about how you can help us celebrate the lives of those lost.”
A vigil for the three victims is planned for 7 p.m. Monday at Prospect Park.