Houston Chronicle

Two attendees killed in crash at car meet

- By Nicole Hensley

Two onlookers at an undergroun­d car meet Sunday in northwest Harris County were killed when a crashed vehicle — struck by a speeding Chevrolet Camaro — careened into the crowd.

Authoritie­s said the fatalities were among a deadly weekend involving several street racing or street takeover incidents — including the death of a motorcycli­st — throughout the county.

Camaro driver Andrew Mock, of Magnolia, was charged Monday with two counts of manslaught­er but could face more as authoritie­s wait on whether a third victim will survive. Authoritie­s said he got behind the wheel of his car to “fly-by” the cheering crowd and jetted about 100 mph down a U.S. 290 feeder road when he veered into another car — whose driver was leaving a shopping center near West Little York, where the meet up was held.

The other car then crashed around 9:30 p.m. into a line of onlookers — striking several people, including two teens who were airlifted to a hospital. One of the teens, identified in court records as Decarerick Kennedy, later died, Cy-Fair Fire Department spokesman Daniel Arizpe said, and the other is on life support, he continued.

Sean Teare, head of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Vehicular Crimes Division, called the gathering an “undergroun­d car meet” that ended around 9 p.m. but then devolved into a street takeover.

“It began to spill out into the feeder road. They wanted to get up to speed,” Teare said.

The deaths were what Harris County authoritie­s have feared and warned of following months of reckless behavior among car enthusiast­s.

“Both of the people who are deceased are the people who we always knew were in the most jeopardy in situations like this,” Teare continued. “The spectators, the ones who want to stand so close to the fire, so to speak.”

In several videos posted to social media — with some clips lasting less than four seconds — Mock’s sports car can be seen speeding down the roadway and clipping the side of a black Chevrolet Malibu that pulled onto the frontage road.

The yellow Camaro then vanishes into a cloud of debris. Screams erupt as the impact sent the Malibu flying toward a crowd of people lining the street, according to the footage.

The Harris County Sheriff ’s Office identified Roger Glover as the first victim. Authoritie­s found his body in the street.

Arizpe described the crash site as “chaotic” and said the debris field spanned hundreds of feet. Officials nearly declared the incident a mass-casualty event, he said.

“People were out there with their phones, people screaming,” Arizpe said, adding that deputies had to keep the crowd back for first responders to treat the injured.

Mock, who has no known criminal history in Harris County, has also been charged with at least one count of aggravated assault-reckless driving with serious bodily injury.

Fire officials said five others suffered minor injuries.

One of the crash videos circulatin­g on social media featured the caption: “Rip Houston Car Meets For Awhile.”

The crash followed a scheduled gathering, shared on social media as the “Cars & Karts K1 Lowlife meet,” for sports car enthusiast­s in a parking lot in the 14900 block of the Northwest Freeway. A man who identified himself as the meetup’s organizer made a GoFundMe fundraiser for those killed in the crash and announced that he will no longer host car meets.

The fundraiser has garnered more than $2,200 in donations.

“I’m sorry to the families affected with tonight’s events,” the organizer, who did not respond to repeated requests for comment, wrote in an Instagram post.

“At this time we will no (longer) host or be apart of any events for the (foreseeabl­e) future. This is not who we are or what we represent and it’s honestly hurting my heart to know lives were lost,” he said.

Teare said the weekend’s traffic death count — which includes at least nine people — was the worst in nearly a year. He included a Saturday night death of a motorcycli­st during another street racing crash in his tally.

“This was as bad as anything we’ve seen for a stretch of four days since coronaviru­s started,” Teare said. “That’s kind of unpreceden­ted.”

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, meanwhile, called street racing “sad, tragic and preventabl­e.”

Chief Art Acevedo, during a Monday news conference, referred to street racing in the same vein as road rage and said traffic violence would be among this year’s crime-fighting priorities.

The chief highlighte­d the Saturday arrest of Las Vegas Raiders defensive back Kemah Siverand, 24, and two others along Interstate 610 during a street racing incident.

Siverand, who listed the NFL as his employer in bond paperwork, initially stopped at the officers’ request but continued to drive another mile, according to authoritie­s. Siverand was charged with evading arrest.

Hours later, police responded to a fatal crash near the Galleria where a group of motorcycli­sts speeding down Westheimer crashed into a taxi.

Three bikers — Henry Garcia, Bryce Berry and David Torres — were booked on charges of street racing on a highway and causing serious bodily injury following the crash. The trio was riding at excessive speeds when the taxi pulled a U-turn in front of them, police said.

A fourth motorcycli­st, unable to stop in time, crashed into the vehicle and died.

 ?? Cy-Fair Fire Department ?? At least two bystanders were killed Sunday after being hit by a crashed vehicle at a northwest Harris County car meet. Two teens were airlifted to a hospital.
Cy-Fair Fire Department At least two bystanders were killed Sunday after being hit by a crashed vehicle at a northwest Harris County car meet. Two teens were airlifted to a hospital.

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