POLICE Department

Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Crash at 3400 East Freeway

February 1, 2024 - Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in a fatal crash at 3400 East Freeway (East Interstate Highway 10) about 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 31).

The male suspect, 16, will be referred to Harris County Juvenile Probation authorities on charges of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and felony evading arrest in a motor vehicle. Additional charges are possible. The suspect is hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The identity of the deceased female victim, believed to be in her teens, is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

HPD Vehicular Crimes Division Sergeant E. Fendia and Officer T. Phillips reported:

Officers observed a stolen silver Kia Rio whose driver refused to stop. Officers initiated a pursuit as the vehicle traveled westbound on Ruiz Street. The suspect driver then turned north and entered the Eastex Freeway (North U.S. Highway 59) exit ramp going the wrong way, before entering the main freeway lanes going the wrong way. Officers terminated the pursuit for safety reasons.

It is believed the suspect continued to travel the wrong way on the Eastex Freeway and then took the connector ramp to the I-10 East Freeway, traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes. The suspect then struck a gray Kia Forte traveling westbound on the East Freeway.

Officers were traveling (right way) on the two freeways searching for the suspect vehicle. They eventually located the crash site, but did not witness the crash.

Paramedics were called and transported the male driver, 51, of the Kia Forte to an area hospital with serious injuries. They also transported the suspect driver and four of his passengers - all believed to be 14 to 16 years of age - to a hospital where the female victim (a backseat passenger) was pronounced deceased.

The preliminary investigation indicated the crash happened about three minutes after the vehicle pursuit was terminated.

The investigation is continuing.

JFC/VHS 2-1-24
Inc #015234024-E

For additional information, please contact the HPD Office of Community Affairs at 713-308-3200.