14-year-old boy faces murder charges after throwing eggs at cars led to a fatal crash
A teenage boy has been held in a detention centre on murder charges following a fatal crash he caused in Texas on New Year's Day.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested on Tuesday after driving his father's SUV into another car, subsequently killing a 45-year-old grandmother.
The incident occurred after the teenager and two other friends (neither of whom were legally old enough to drive, either), were driving around throwing eggs at passing cars.
One of the group's targets - a man in a Ford Lincoln - then began chasing them, causing the boy to run a red light - at which point he was involved in a head-on collision with the victim's car.
Writing on Twitter, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez gave more updates as they unfolded.
"Update on Aldine Mail Rt. Fatality: the 14 yo driver has been charged w murder & booked in the county juvenile detention center," he said. "He sustained a broken ankle in the crash. The driver of the vehicle that was chasing him has been identified & efforts are being made to interview him."
He later added: "Update on Aldine Mail Rt. Fatality: the deceased female has been identified as Silvia Zavala, Hispanic female, 45 years of age, dob: 6-9-73. Our condolences to the family."
Gonzales also shared a rather upsetting picture of the victim's mangled car.
The driver of the Lincoln has also been identified by police, and law enforcement is looking to interview him in connection with the fatality. His identity has not been formally released, though an initial report from KTRK said that police were looking for a Hispanic man in his 20s with tattoos on his left arm.
The boys in the SUV claimed the driver of the Lincoln had flashed a firearm at them, and that's what had urged them to run the red light. This has yet to be corroborated by other sources.
A GoFundMe has been set up to cover the cost of Zavala's funeral expenses.
"Silvia Zavala, mother of two, was taken away from her family in a car accident," the page says. "She was a mother full of joy and love, bringing light into everyone's lives. Being a single a mother was never a setback for her, she was always smiling, dancing, and being the life of the party. Silvia loved being a mother and a grandmother. May she rest in peace, we love you Silvia and miss you so much."
Locals to the area, along with others who heard about the incident have been expressing their shock and offering their condolences on social media.
"So tradgic [sic] may her family find peace prayers for them," wrote one person. "Hard way to start a new year."
"The kids were throwing eggs, they initiated the problem that [led] to a person being kill by their irresponsible actions," said another, "the kids and their parents, they should pay for it."
Our thoughts go out to the family and loved ones of Silvia Zavala at this difficult time.