HOUSTON (FOX 26) — You may remember the fatal New Year’s Day crash that left a woman dead and a teen charged with murder. Now, a man in Houston has also been indicted in connection with that deadly wreck.
Christopher Lopez, who detectives say was chasing a car full of kids, is now charged with three second-degree felonies for that fatal New Year’s Day crash. Lopez is scheduled to surrender at the Harris County Jail.
Horrific surveillance video shows what investigators say is a 14-year-old behind the wheel of a GMC sport utility vehicle, running a red light on Aldine Westfield Road and slamming the GMC into a Ford F-150, killing 45-year-old Silvia Zavala.
Why is 48-year old Christopher Lopez now also charged?
"You see the children in the GMC Acadia strike the victim, but you also see right behind that an older model Lincoln," explains Sean Teare, head of the Harris County District Attorney's Office Vehicular Crimes Unit.
Teare also says the video shows Lopez, driving his custom Continental past the red light and away from the fatal crash.
"It was this defendant’s actions that escalated this from a juvenile prank to a terrible tragedy," says Teare. What prank? Three teens were throwing eggs at cars on New Year's Day and according to investigators, Lopez became enraged when they targeted his classic Continental.
"We know he was pursuing these kids at upwards of 100 miles per hour,” describes Teare.
Lopez chase after the teens and also opened fire, according to Teare.
"We have two completely independent witnesses who have come forward and identified that car and this defendant as the person holding the gun out of the window and firing at the children."
Lopez is charged with failure to stop and render aid, manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
"Had this defendant just deescalated it instead of chasing 14 year olds and firing weapons at them, we wouldn’t be here talking about this and she’d be home with her family," adds Teare.
The 14-year-old is behind bars, charged with murder. Lopez was indicted on Monday morning and his attorney says he is going to turn himself in. Lopez faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.