HOUSTON - A driver died Thursday when he slammed into a northeast Houston home following a police chase.
Investigators said a pickup truck driver left a bar and was traveling on East Crosstimbers near Irvington without his lights on and nearly hit another vehicle, so a patrol officer tried to pull him over. The driver then took off and a short, 4-minute chase ensued, officials said.
The 22-year-old driver, Mario Hernandez, lost control of his vehicle, hit a tree and slammed into a house in the 9600 block of East Hardy Street at 1:55 a.m. He crashed into the porch and a front bedroom, trapping a 62-year-old woman sleeping inside, police said.
The woman, Dora Estrada, was trapped under rubble and screamed for help.
"She had to crawl herself out of the side of the house because the door was completely smashed in," resident Irma Lira said.
"This Ford F-150 crashes into a home on the feeder road, basically takes out the entire front porch of the house. Sheet rock and walls have been taken down," said John Cannon with the Houston Police Department.
Five people were inside the home, including an 8-year-old boy. Estrada suffered some minor scratches. No one else in the home was injured.
Hernandez died at the scene.
The crash ruptured a gas line that was quickly contained by the Houston Fire Department, police said.
The family whose home was damaged will have to deal with the deceased driver's insurance company. They don't have homeowner's insurance.
"Blessed that nothing happened to my mom -- that would have been the worst," Lira said. "I mean, repairs to the house, it's going to be a while, but we can do that."
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