HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) —
The man accused of chasing a teen driver before a deadly crash on New Year’s Day has been charged in a separate traffic incident.
Christopher Lopez, 48, has been charged with obstruction of a highway after he allegedly stopped under Houston’s iconic “Be Someone” bridge. The alleged incident happened on Dec. 2 with group of people as part of a car club. Police say they stopped traffic on I-45 to take videos and photos.
WARNING TWEET CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
“You can’t stop traffic on a major thoroughfare under a Be Someone sign for 20 minutes in the middle of the day,” said Chief of Harris County DA Office Vehicular Crimes Division Sean Teare.
On that day, Lopez was in the vehicle that was also the one involved in the deadly New Year’s Day crash.
Lopez was charged with manslaughter, failure to stop and render aid, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the New Year’s Day incident.
Deputies said he chased a 14-year-old driver who egged his car, allegedly causing a deadly crash in north Houston.
While in court, prosecutors said, “Had he (Lopez) not escalated a juvenile prank, a woman (Silvia) would still be alive.”
Harris County Sheriff’s Office said it all started when the teen, who was in a GMC Acadia with two other teens, threw eggs at vehicles.
Lopez’s car was damaged by the eggs. He then decided to chase the teens.
During the chase, deputies said the teen ran a red light on Aldine Mail Route Road near Aldine Westfield, and smashed into a woman’s Ford F-150, killing her.
The victim in the Ford truck has been identified as 45-year-old Silvia Zavala.
Deputies say Lopez flashed a semi-automatic weapon at the teens.
The 14-year-old has been charged with murder. His name will not be released due to his age.
Lopez faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
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