Family remembers grandmother killed in multicar pileup on Highway 288

By Celina Gore - News Associate Producer, Phil Archer - Reporter, Sara Fatima Dhanji

HOUSTON - The family of a 62-year-old Houston grandmother is asking for justice after a hit-and-run driver killed her and injured three other people. The driver was seen running from his damaged car by witnesses.

"You know, it's tough when you lose someone. Especially when someone has been through much," the woman's nephew, Stephen Vu, said.

Hope Vu was pronounced dead at the scene after a speeding car slammed into the car she was riding in on Highway 288 near Almeda-Genoa Road just before 8 p.m. Tuesday. She had survived the war in her native Vietnam, though her family assumed she was dead after the country fell to North Vietnamese forces. They brought her to the U.S. In the 1990s after learning she was was still alive only to be killed by a reckless driver on a Houston freeway.

The impact of the crash Tuesday set off a chain reaction accident that damaged a total of four cars and sent her son, his fiancee, and another driver to local hospitals.

Police say the driver of a white Mazda MX-9 was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic on Highway 288 and Almeda-Genoa. The traffic on the freeway had slowed for a minor accident and the driver slammed into a black Acura TI in which Hope Vu was a passenger in the rear seat. The impact caused the Acura to hit a red Volkswagen Jetta. The Mazda also struck a black Honda Accord.  Vu's son was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital, where he was treated and released. His fiancee is still hospitalized with internal injuries. The driver of the Jetta was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The driver who caused the crash was last seen running from the accident scene.

Wednesday, Ms. Vu's family gathered to pray for her at a shrine set up at her nephew's home in southwest Houston. Family members say they want the driver to take responsibility for what he did.

"Whatever he did caused people to die. And caused other people to get hurt." Stephen Vu said.

Police searched for the suspect in the area off Highway 288 with dogs and a helicopter, but were unable to find him. Police say he is a Hispanic male, approximately 20 years old, who was wearing a red shirt and red jacket.

The car he was driving is registered to an owner in Pearland. No one answered the door Wednesday when police checked at the house.

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call HPD Hit and Run Unit at 713-247-4065 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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