Victims of car chase crash still critical

January 16, 2009 9:05:17 PM PST
A family is finding it hard to cope after two innocent teenagers were almost killed in a crash at the end of a police chase on Wednesday night.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Investigators say the woman driver of the car that hit them was driving a stolen Harris County Deputy Constable's squad car. Those two teens remain in a hospital on Friday night.

Family members say they have mixed emotions about the chase itself but they're trying to put that aside to focus on the two young men pulling through.

A third friend, who was also injured at the scene of the crash but is doing OK, is at their bedside at Ben Taub Hospital.

The chase that ended along I-10 was the beginning of a nightmare for the three young men inside of a crumpled car. Lisa Bean's brother was one of the crash victims. She said Mecole Roquez remains in critical condition.

"We've been blessed to have a group of neighbors, co-workers, friends who are so supportive and have been our family," said Lisa Bean.

Investigators say on Wednesday night, Catrinna Miller, 23, stole a deputy constable's squad car. She then led police on a long and winding chase before crashing into an 18-wheeler and a car driven by Roquez and his friends.

All three young men lived in the same apartment complex and were well-liked by neighbors.

"It's just sad. It's touching everybody in the apartments. My heart is out to him and I'm praying for his family," said neighbor Robin Newton.

One of the three suffered only minor injuries, but a second young man and Roquez remain in critical condition.

"I don't know why anyone would do a thing like that. My brother is preparing for graduation this year." said Bean.

She said family and friend have been at his bedside constantly and they believe that Roquez will survive and still graduate from high school this year.

"He's going to walk out of the hospital. He's gonna breathe on his own," said Bean.

She says it's been especially difficult since she and her family moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina. Bean found work, her kids were thriving and her brother was supposed to graduate from high school. Everything was set until this happened, but they are hoping both young men in the hospital will pull through.

As for the suspect in the case, 23-year-old Catrinna Miller is in jail. She is charged with three felony counts of evading police, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and taking an officer's weapon. Additional charges could be filed if the crash victims don't recover.

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