14-year-old driver charged with murder following fatal crash

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter, Brittany Taylor - Digital News Editor, Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor

HOUSTON - The 14-year-old driver who failed to stop at a red light resulting in a crash that killed a woman has been charged with murder, deputies said.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez shared a tweet saying the teen had been charged and "booked in the county juvenile detention center."

Gonzalez also said the teen suffered a broken ankle, and the driver of the vehicle who was chasing the teen has been identified and deputies are working to talk to him.

 

 

The crash was reported at 2:20 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection in the 2000 block of Aldine Westfield Road and Aldine Mail Route.

Deputies said teens in a GMC Acadia were throwing eggs at another driver, who then began to chase the teens' vehicle. The teens told officials that the driver who was chasing them displayed a semi-automatic handgun, investigators said.

Deputies said the teen driver ran a red light going at least 60 mph and hit Silvia Zavala's, 45, truck. Zavala was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

“The GMC Acadia disregarded the red light at the intersection and struck the F-150,”  said Lt. Susan Cotter, with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

The teen driver and a passenger in the GMC were taken to LBJ Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, officials said. A third teen was not injured.

KPRC 2

Channel 2 Investigates spoke to a 14-year-old classmate and neighbor of the 14-year-old boy who was driving. She told KPRC that she is simply stunned that a boy his age would even attempt to drive his father’s truck.

“Whenever I saw this, I was like wow! I was like, oh my God, he is so young, why did he even drive that car like he is,” the teenage girl said.

The other driver did not stop and investigators are looking for a yellow or gold late-model 1970s Lincoln Continental with a white top, officials said. The driver is described as a Hispanic male in his late 20s with a tattoo on his left forearm and elbow.

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