HOUSTON - Loved ones describe fallen deputy Jennifer Chavis as a loving and ambitious mom who'd do anything for her family. The 32-year-old Harris County Precinct 7 Constables Deputy was killed by a suspected drunk driver on Saturday afternoon.
Exclusive video obtained by FOX 26 shows how erratically the suspect, 36-year-old Adolfo Serrano, was driving down the Beltway around 5 p.m. Saturday. Serrano's white utility truck can be seen swerving and nearly hitting multiple cars while witnesses were heard calling the authorities for help.
Adolfo Serrano (Photo: Jail Records)
Seconds later, investigators say Serrano slammed into the back of Precinct 7 Constable Deputy Jennifer Chavis's unit, causing it to burst into flames.
Serrano is now charged first-degree felony of intoxication manslaughter of a peace officer. He did not appear in probably cause court Monday, but was granted a $750,000 bond despite his lengthy criminal past. That past includes a felony family violence conviction in Fort Bend County in 2009 and a DWI conviction in Brazoria County in 2014.
Harris Co. Pct. 7 Deputy Constable Jennifer Chavis was killed in a fiery crash by a suspected drunk driver. (Photo courtesy of Harris County Pct. 7 Constable's Office)
Chavis had been dispatched to the area to deal with the suspected drunk driver. Authorities say her unit was parked on the side of the Beltway, near Fondren.
Chavis, 32, was killed in the fiery crash.
Chavis was an Army veteran and leaves behind a 4-year-old son, husband, two siblings and 11-year-old nephew she was raising. She'd worked with the Harris County Precinct 7 Constables Office since November 2020 and was assigned to the Toll Road Division.
Robbin Griffin said she and Chavis were inseparable as friends and former coworkers at the Census Bureau, where Chavis had apparently worked before moving to Pct. 7. Griffin wrote her letter of recommendation.
"She's the little sister I never had. I'm going to miss those phone calls from her," Griffin said.
Griffin described Chavis as a selfless, ambitious woman who'd do anything for her family.
"She talked about her mother all the time. She wanted to purchase land for her mother, to get her mother a house built. Jennifer always wanted to do things for her family," Griffin said.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office is now looking at who else could be responsible for the deadly crash.
"Restaurants, bars, convenience stores -- anyone that should have known how intoxicated this individual was and yet, continued to serve him alcohol, could face criminal charges," said Sean Teare, head of the Harris County District Attorney's Office Vehicular Crimes Division.
Law enforcement officials will escort Chavis’ body from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences to Claire Brother’s funeral home on 5525 Pine St. starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Click here for the procession route.