A 19-year-old biking home from work was struck and killed by a teenage driver being chased by cops, Texas police say.
An officer in Houston saw two drivers street racing just after 2 a.m. Monday, Nov. 27, and he called for help to bring the vehicles to a stop, Executive Assistant Police Chief Larry Satterwhite said in a news briefing.
One of the drivers escaped from police, while the other reached speeds of 100 mph as he was being chased, police said.
That driver, later identified by KHOU as a 16-year-old in a Kia Forte, exited the freeway and ran a red light, according to Satterwhite. Police said he “did not even slow down” as he slammed into a motorcyclist.
Police said the driver of the Forte continued driving, but his vehicle soon became disabled and came to a stop a half mile from the crash scene. He tried to flee on foot and was eventually taken into custody.
The motorcyclist died at the scene, Satterwhite said. He was identified by family as Andres Saldaña Sorto who was 19, KTRK reported.
Family said in a GoFundMe that Sorto was biking home from one of his two jobs.
“Andres was a sweet and kind person,” family said in the GoFundMe. “He worried about others so much. What made Andres special was his willingness to help others and being himself always. He had two jobs to help his family. He would leave whatever he was doing to help his friends out in whatever way possible.”
Ariela Hernandez, Sorto’s niece, told KTRK he was working to provide for his family and had dreams of becoming a welder.
“We’re really sad because he is not going to be there anymore, and it’s just a really hard thing to understand,” Hernandez told the station.
The 16-year-old was charged with “felony murder, intoxication manslaughter, failure to stop and render aid involving death, evading arrest and detention in a motor vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,” KHOU reported. He had allegedly stolen the Kia, according to authorities.
Satterwhite said stronger laws should be in place for when drivers flee from police.
“We need our legislature and our elected officials to look into this and raise the penalties for this because it’s so dangerous,” he said in the news briefing.