HOUSTON, Texas – A man believed to be driving drunk took police on a short but deadly chase as he reportedly blasted through a red light killing one teen and injuring another. The two teens had just left their high school prom only an hour or so before.
Police have filed felony evading and murder charges against Edin Palacios-Rodas after the man allegedly fled from police and crashed into a Dodge Charger being driven by a teenage driver who has not yet been identified, Houston Police Department Spokesman Kese Smith told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. The crash resulted in the death of the 18-year-old teenage passenger and the serious injury of her driver, Moises Avila, also 18.
Officials with YES Prep North Central confirmed to KTRK ABC13 that the passenger who died at the scene of the crash was one of their students, Jocelyn Valero.
At this time, police officials have not reported on the accused killer’s nationality, citizenship, or whether the 27-year-old man had a driver license.
Smith told Breitbart Texas that a Houston DWI Task Force officer observed a pickup truck making a U-Turn about 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. During the turn the driver ran over the curb. The police officer initiated a traffic stop. Initially, the truck driven by Palacios slowed down and eventually stopped. When the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the pickup truck sped away.
A short, but high speed chase ensued which lasted for about 1-2 minutes, Smith said. The pursuit came to a stop as Rodriguez allegedly ran a traffic light on the feeder road and plowed into the Dodge Charger. The crash occurred on Houston’s North Freeway feeder road at the Tidwell intersection.
The driver of the pickup crawled out of his truck and attempted to flee, but Houston Police Officer Clark, HPD Special Operations Division, quickly took down the suspect, Scott Engle with the Harris County Police Reporter wrote.
Engle reported from the scene:
Clark tried to get to the victims of the vehicle but they were buried deep in the twisted metal. As other officers arrived they too were unable to access the two victims in the mangled Charger.
The first HFD (Houston Fire Department) Paramedic Supervisor arrived on the scene and determined the female in the passenger seat of the Charger was deceased. The male driver of the Charger was critical and wrapped in metal. Houston Ladder 67 arrived a short time later as crews worked almost fifteen minutes to free the driver of the Charger identified as Moises Avila, 18. Avilla was finally freed and transported to the hospital in critical condition.
Palacios-Rodas was transported to the hospital with minor injuries and released to police. Rodas-Palacios showed signs of intoxication.
In the driver’s seat was Jocelynn Valero, a young lady, dressed in her prom dress. She and Avilla had gone to the prom. They stopped at IHOP and were heading home.
“I just want to say the guy who killed my daughter, he has to pay for what he did,” Valero’s mother told ABC13. “There is a huge open wound in my family right now,” she says, “for my dear aunt and my dear uncle who have already lost…”
It was not the family’s first run-in with tragedy this year. Valero’s brother was shot and killed outside a nightclub about five weeks ago. Police are still investigating that crime and searching for the alleged killer.
Rodriguez received minor injuries and was also taken to a hospital where he was placed in custody.
Rodriguez has been charged with Capital Murder and Felony Evading Arrest and Detention according to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas. He may also be charged with Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle in connection to Avila’s injuries.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.