Recently, a local task force was formed in response to a 2017 article in the Houston Chronicle which found that Houston is home to the nation's most dangerous roads. According to the article, more than 600 motorists, passengers, and pedestrians are killed every year in traffic collisions. The majority of these fatal accidents involved driver inattention, driving while intoxicated, and speeding. The Chronicle's investigation found that a lack of a comprehensive strategy to address the issue may be partly to blame. In response, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez called for the formation of a regional task force to better patrol roads. The task force was designed to crack down on traffic violations and unsafe driving practices, with the goal of promoting safe driving and reducing the number of serious motor vehicle accidents that occur on Houston area roads each year.
On the evening of December 16, 2018, 19-year-old Erick Hernandez left a facility named Frontera Events Venue on Houston Boulevard in his Ford F-150 shortly before 11:00 p.m. Just minutes later, he swerved across three lanes of traffic and crashed head-on into an SUV that Taylor Phillips was driving. The 23-year-old mother was killed. In addition, her 1-year-old son and 48-year-old mother were injured.
Two minutes after leaving a bar that served him over a dozen drinks, an intoxicated 19-year-old driving a pickup truck veered into oncoming traffic colliding with an SUV. The driver of the SUV was killed. The driver's mother and 1-year-old child were injured.
Once again, police officers chasing a suspect who was evading arrest resulted in injuries to innocent motorists. Shortly after 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night, October 21, 2018, police began to chase a suspect who refused to comply with a routine traffic stop. The chase started close to the intersection of York Street and Harrisburg Boulevard. The suspect fled in his white SUV towards downtown. Reaching Chartres Street near Texas Street, the suspect slammed into the rear of a Honda Civic, knocking it into the back of another vehicle. The crash was so hard that it ejected a woman from the Civic. Still trying to flee, the suspect then reversed, and in the process, he hit a truck and another vehicle. Shortly after that, the police apprehended him near the intersection of Texas and Bastrop streets. The suspect evidently was attempting to evade arrest for driving with a suspended license and because he was driving while intoxicated. He has now been charged with evading, DWI, failure to stop and render aid, and intoxication assault.
Eight-year-old Abdallah Khader of Arlington, Texas, died last Sunday morning. Abdallah had been in a near vegetative state for nearly six years since being brain damaged in a 2009 crash with a drunk driver, nearly brain-dead, strapped to a chair, and frequently suffering from pneumonia which necessitated the use of oxygen. The immediate cause of death has not been published, but it had been expected for some time that the child would ultimately die of lung failure.