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The child's two siblings and 28-year-old mother died at the scene of the crash late Sunday in northwest Harris County.
MARK HERMAN: All right, first of all, for the record, my name is Mark Herman, H-E-R-M-A-N. I'm the constable with Harris County precinct four. I want to thank you for your patience, you know, regarding the accident last night where we had multiple fatalities.
I can tell you, our investigation has revealed last night around 8:30 PM we had a vehicle traveling westbound on FM 2920 with a mother and three children in the vehicle. It was struck from behind by another vehicle of a suspected impaired driver, causing the vehicle to be pushed into, I think, a total of seven other vehicles. It was basically a seven-vehicle crash.
The mother was deceased at the scene, a seven-month-old baby was deceased at the scene, and a five-year-old child was also deceased at the scene. There was a two-year-old that was Life Flighted to Hermann Hospital downtown. As of this morning, that child is currently on life support. We're asking for prayers for that child and for the rest of the family.
I can tell you that the suspect in this case is currently in the hospital. We have deputies at the hospital sitting on him. We have coordinated with our district attorney's office. They have accepted multiple counts of intoxication manslaughter. Possibly some of these cases will be upgraded, depending on the fate of the two-year-old child that is currently on life support.
This is a tragedy. It is a situation of, you know, again, a possible suspected impaired driver who basically snuffs a family out of existence. But I can tell you, we at precinct four will do everything we can investigatively to prosecute this individual and hold him accountable. And at the same time, we want to ask folks for their thoughts and prayers for the family involved in this tragedy.
With that, I'll open it up to any questions.
- Any additional information about the suspect? Any other DWIs?
MARK HERMAN: Yeah, we've done some background check on him. And that's not going to be made public at this time, but that is part of our investigation and will be ongoing.
- The family, are you releasing any names?
MARK HERMAN: Yeah, not right now. Most of the family has been notified, but there are some members of that family that have not been notified. And so we're going to right now not release any names. That's going to be including the suspect at this time. The charges we have have not been formally filed yet. They've been verbally accepted by our district attorney. So we're not going to release his photograph or his name at this point, but that will be forthcoming. Once that is done today, we'll blast it out to your outlets and also put it on our social-media platforms.
- Any additional information that you can give us about the accident, how it happened? Did someone run a light?
MARK HERMAN: Well, it appears that the mother and her kids were stopped going westbound on FM 2920 at Gosling. At some point, the suspected impaired driver come up behind them at a high rate of speed and basically collided into the back of them. The vehicle did, you know, ignite into flames. There was a fire in the vehicle. And, you know, unfortunately the three individuals, the mom and the baby and the five-year-old, perished in that fire.
They did get a-- you know, the two-year-old out, was able to get the two-year-old out. And, you know, he was Life Flighted downtown.
- OK, you mentioned the intoxicated driver-- suspected intoxication driver is at the hospital. What is his condition?
MARK HERMAN: His condition is he has bumps and bruises. He is expected to survive this. And, of course, we're, you know, waiting until he's released, you know, so we can start the criminal-justice process with him.
- Is the family local?
MARK HERMAN: Family is local, yes.
- Do you know if he was coming from a bar? I mean, where was he coming from? Do you know--
MARK HERMAN: Yeah, we don't know. I mean, we're-- that's part of the investigation. Investigators will continue to connect the dots and bring all that together with our district attorney's office.
- What about injuries in the other vehicles?
MARK HERMAN: There were a few other injuries. I think one person was taken by ground in stable conditioning-- stable condition, non-life-threatening injuries, and bumps and bruises. Some folks were released at the scene. Some of the vehicles just had debris, you know, strike their vehicles.
- Do you have video of the crash, surveillance video?
MARK HERMAN: That's all part of the investigation. We're still looking into nearby businesses with video and things of that nature that would aid us in our investigation.
- The weather a little bit was-- the weather was a little rainy last night, kind of messy. Do you think that had any effect of him stopping, you know, I mean, other than make-- or make the crash worse?
MARK HERMAN: Yeah, all conditions will be factored into the investigation. But at the end of the day, we know that it's been reported already he has a blood alcohol content of 1.5. And so that in and of itself to me is the main contributing factor, you know. And again, it's totally preventable. And, you know, again, the guy's a suspect at this point because it'll be up to our district attorney's office to prove that in a court of law.
- Obviously you cover a lot of crashes like this, but this is a young mother with three young kids. I mean, and you talk about this guy driving, you know, drunk. Just your thoughts on it personally?
MARK HERMAN: Yeah, I really don't want to put my personal thoughts into it because it wouldn't be too nice. But professionally, I can tell you that law enforcement's out there continuing to fight the good fight against our impaired drivers. I know that we have multiple DWI initiatives this spring breakout with our Sheriff Ed Gonzales and local constables. We're going to continue to combat drunk driving and try to make our streets safe for our families.
- What message do you want to give out to people that are drinking, especially spring break?
MARK HERMAN: Yeah, you know, it's-- you know, driving impaired is 100% preventable. Don't do it. It's a choice. And just need to leave it alone. Any other questions?