Former South African rugby player dies in major crash caused by teen driver following chase in NW Harris Co., HCSO confirms

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A teen driver is facing charges after deputies with Harris County Sheriff’s Office said he caused a multi-vehicle crash that left one person dead and five others injured following a chase in NW Harris County Friday afternoon.

The 16-year-old accused is charged with felony murder for the death of 41-year-old Pedrie Wannenburg, a former South African rugby player. He is also charged with reckless aggravated assault serious bodily injury, and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

According to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez via Twitter, a deputy was attempting to conduct a traffic stop at the intersection of Greenhouse Road and Little York Road after receiving a call for a family disturbance in the area. The deputy spotted the vehicle the teen was driving along with two other suspects inside, and deputies said he failed to stop, initiating a pursuit.

Deputies said the teen went far ahead of them in the pursuit, and that was when Sheriff Gonzalez said he crashed three other vehicles. A fourth vehicle was unable to stop in time and crashed into one of the vehicles struck.

Life Flight and Cy-Fair Fire Department were called to the scene.

Three suspects, including the teen, were transported to an area hospital. All three suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A woman who was involved in the crash was transported by ground ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Katy

Wannenburg and his 8-year-old son were transported to the Texas Medical Center via Life Flight. Wannenburg died at the hospital, Sheriff Gonzalez said via Twitter. His son remains in critical condition.

Wannenburg’s rugby team released the following statement on social media:

Ulster Rugby is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of former flanker, Pedrie Wannenburg following a car crash in Texas. The Springbok played a major role in Ulster’s Heineken Cup and Pro12 campaigns, making 54 appearances for the Ulster men between 2010 and 2012. Our thoughts are with his wife, daughter, and son, who we hope pulls through and makes a full recovery.

Additionally, the Rice Rugby Club has created a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising funds to help support the Wannenburg family.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation.

UPDATE (7:10PM): All patients were freed from the crash. A total of six people (two by Life Flight, four by ambulance)...

Posted by Cy-Fair Fire Department on Friday, April 22, 2022

About the Authors:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.