A 14-year-old boy has been charged with murder after authorities said an egg prank sparked a high-speed car chase through a Texas intersection that killed a mother.
The underage driver was allegedly pelting cars with eggs from an SUV with two juvenile passengers on Tuesday when Harris County authorities said he provoked another driver just before 2:30 p.m. That driver allegedly then displayed a semiautomatic handgun.
The confrontation sparked a chase between the two vehicles, leading to the boy’s SUV blowing through an intersection’s red light and T-boning a red Ford F-150 that was driven by 45-year-old Silvia Zavala. She was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said in a release.
The teenage driver, who has not been identified, suffered a broken ankle in the crash, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Twitter.
Surveillance video capturing the violent collision appears to show Zavala’s truck briefly going airborne as both vehicles spin into a ditch. The vehicle that appears to have been chasing the teens’ SUV is seen speeding past them. The driver of that vehicle fled the scene but was later located and is cooperating with investigators, authorities said.
Zavala’s daughter, Jessica Gaspar, speaking to local news stations, said her mother was in town for New Year’s and planned to return home that same day. She said she’s glad the teen driver is facing charges.
“I feel bad for him. He’s just 14 years old but he took my entire life away from me,” Gaspar told Houston station KHOU 11 News. “Even though he’s 14, he took my mom’s life away. He took it. And she was the only one I had.”
It’s not yet clear whether anyone else will be charged with a crime. Authorities said the case remains under investigation.
As for how the teen got his hands on a vehicle, Gaspar told Click 2 Houston that deputies told her the teenager had taken his father’s vehicle without permission.
Texas law requires drivers to be at least 15 years old to apply for a driving permit, which requires a licensed driver over 21 years old to be present, or be at least 16 years of age to obtain a restricted intermediate license.