Houston Police Department
Investigation into Male's Death at 10500 Hempstead Highway

January 9, 2012 - Houston police are awaiting autopsy results in the death of a man following a traffic accident at 10500 Hempstead Highway about 2:20 a.m. today (Jan. 9).

The identity of the male, 35 to 40, who was pronounced dead at the scene, is pending notification to family members by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. 

HPD Vehicular Crimes Division Sergeant S. Sorge and Officer D. Ashford, and HPD Homicide Division Sergeant R. Chandler and Senior Police Officer M. Miller reported: 

The male was driving a blue Chevrolet pickup truck northbound on Hempstead Highway and failed to stay in a single lane of traffic.  The truck then struck a utility pole and overturned.  The driver died at the scene.

HPD homicide investigators responded to the scene after it was determined the Chevrolet had been involved in an aggravated assault incident at the "El Chapparal" nightclub at 800 Northwest Mall, minutes earlier.  According to witnesses, the male appeared to be intoxicated as he was leaving the club.  He got into his truck and, as he drove through the parking lot toward Hempstead Highway, he struck another individual with the front bumper of the truck.  An HPD patrol officer investigating an unrelated accident in the area then saw the Chevrolet speeding westbound on Hempstead Highway.  The officer heard what were believed to be gunshots and then saw the Chevrolet race through an intersection at a high rate of speed.  The officer then attempted to catch up to the vehicle but the pickup crashed into a utility pole at the intersection of Hempstead and Mangum before officers arrived.

Although officers heard gunshots, no ballistic evidence of any kind was recovered and the victim did not have any apparent gunshot wounds at the scene.  However, the medical examiner will have the final ruling as to the manner and cause of death.

The investigation is continuing.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Vehicular Crimes or Homicide Divisions at 713-247-4072 or 713-308-3600, respectively.

VHS/JFC  1-9-12
Inc. #003506512-D, #003507912 


For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.