Man charged with murder in connection with fatal DWI crash

Police said he had three previous DWI convictions

By Cathy Hernandez - Reporter, Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor, Brittany Jeffers - Reporter

HOUSTON - Charges have been filed against a man who police said caused a fatal crash in south Houston.

John Richard Vazquez, 60, was charged with murder after investigators said he was intoxicated when he hit and killed a man changing a tire on the side of the road.

According to authorities, the crash happened around 7:20 p.m. Tuesday on the South Loop near Highway 288.

The 55-year-old victim was changing the tire on his Ford Taurus when Vazquez lost control of his Ford F-150, swerved out of his lane and hit the Taurus and the victim, police said.

Paramedics rushed both men to Ben Taub Hospital, where the victim later died, authorities said.

Officers said Vazquez was evaluated at the hospital and it was determined he was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

“This is a senseless tragedy,” said Sean Teare, with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Investigators said Vasquez has a long criminal history dating back to 1976, including three previous DWI convictions. Vazquez was on parole at the time of the crash.

In addition to the DWI convictions, Vazquez has also faced charges for unlawfully carrying a weapon, unauthorized use of a vehicle, driving with a suspended license and assault of a family member.

“The biggest problem with that in my mind is that once you become someone who has proven to violate this particular law on more than one occasion you are a ticking time bomb for every on in our community,” Teare said.

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