Atascocita High School teens killed in crash that split car in half
ATASCOCITA, Texas (FOX 26) - Two Atascocita High School students were killed in a crash that split the vehicle in half. Police believe the driver, Jaggar Clayton Smith, 17, was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
The wreck happened at around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday on Timber Forest near Atascocita Road in northeast Harris County.
Atascocita High School students Salma Gomez, 16, and Chloe Robison, 16, were killed in the crash.
Police believe Smith, a Kingwood High School student, was intoxicated at the time of the crash. He survived the crash with minor injuries and is now charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.
If convicted, authorities said Smith could face up to 40 years in prison.
On Wednesday, his bond was posted for $60,000. Smith is expected to appear in court on Thursday morning.
"I know him like a brother," said David Tuihalangingie. "He was a good friend to me. We played football together since we were little. It's just hard to think of him like that, it's hard to think of him as the bad guy."
Investigators said a four-door Nissan sedan was traveling southbound on Timber Forest at a high rate of speed.
The car went into the traffic island, struck several trees and split into two pieces.
Deputies said Robison was in the back right seat. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Gomez was in the front passenger seat and was taken to the hospital where she later died.
Brooke Callaway, 15, knew all three teens and was a close friend of Gomez and Robison.
"They're like one of the two most beautiful souls I've ever met," said Callaway. "They're always constantly lifting people up. They helped so many people. They made me laugh. They made me smile. They'd always come up to people randomly and compliment them. Chloe's dad was my math teacher and she'd always help me too."
There's a youth service every Wednesday night at Woodlands Church Atascocita, but the service this week was a chance to heal and find hope.
"In the face of the tragic events that have happened we want to come together as we should as a community, we want to pray, we want to reflect, to be there for each other," said Daniel Williams associate campus pastor.
The hurt is visible on many young faces.
"It's been tough we went to the hospital got word on the way that Salma had passed it's a tight knit community everybody's completely broken," said Gomez family friend Jennifer Wooden.
Authorities are now trying to determine what Smith's blood alcohol content level was when he crashed the Nissan car.
Investigators with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are also working to find out from where Smith may have consumed the alcohol. A representative told FOX 26 News that if it turns out a retailer or business sold the alcohol to the minor, it may face a fine or have it's license revoked entirely.
A Humble Independent School District spokesperson said grief counselors will be available at Atascocita High School from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday for anyone that needs it.
In a tweet, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said, "Drivers must constantly be on the defensive to protect themselves against the uncontrolled driving of individuals who are under the influence. A few tips: 1) maintain ample distance 2) call local law enforcement 3) use extra caution at intersections 4) avoid driving late at night."