HOUSTON, Texas - A burned up and bashed in car is all that's left after the man behind the wheel led police on a wild high-speed chase Tuesday night. The driver died and police are trying to figure out why he was speeding.
According to HPD Assistant Chief William Dobbins, "Our estimation is that he was intoxicated, or for some reason, driving at a very high rate of speed and refused to stop when the officers tried to do a traffic stop."
The chase began around 11 p.m. when police saw the car speed through a stop sign near Hardy and Parker roads. About five minutes later and eight miles away, the driver lost control.
"Came down Parker Road in to this neighborhood at a very high rate of speed, they estimated through this street about 80 miles an hour," Dobbins said.
Police say he was swerving and running several other cars off the road. Cops couldn't stop him, but a bridge guardrail did. That's when the car caught fire.
"It also went up the guardrail a few feet, traveled in the air, they estimated about 15 feet up because of the high rate of speed it was going when it struck the guardrail," Dobbins explained.
One officer jumped into waist-deep water, but it was too late. "As he tried the cross the bayou, at that point the vehicle became engulfed in flames when the gas tank blew up."
The deadly night continued on our roads when a woman and a baby were killed on the Gulf Freeway feeder road at El Dorado. Alcohol may have been involved in that case as well.
Witnesses reported a major accident around 4 a.m. Clear Lake patrol officers found a horrific scene. An SUV had apparently rear-ended a compact car.
According to HPD Lt. Larry Crowson, "Officers found that there was an adult female and an infant in the car. They were both deceased at the scene."
The SUV's driver and passenger were taken to a local hospital.
"It's not an easy scene," says Crowson. "I'm sure it's traumatic for the witnesses, the officers and the firefighters that responded."
Now they're trying to figure out why one woman is dead and an innocent baby's life is over, before it really began.