Police: Teen driver speeding excessively

October 15, 2009 7:54:29 AM PDT
Investigators say a local teen was driving 82 miles an hour on a residential road when he killed one of his friends a couple of weeks ago. The accident happened on Cinco Ranch Road around Deer Meadow Falls Lane. It's a fairly remote area with little traffic. We learned that the teenager behind the wheel was speeding excessively and as a new driver was violating a driver's license restriction.

The flowers at a small memorial may be wilting away, but the tire tracks are still there, still deep and still a somber reminder about the fatal accident here almost two weeks ago.

Seven Lakes High School students have reacted and fellow band members have paid tribute to the sophomore who will never wear his uniform again.

Matthew Schmitt, 15, died in the single car accident. According to the crash report just released Wednesday, Derek Alan Armijo, the 16-year-old who was driving, faces serious charges as harsh as criminal negligent homicide.

Five other teenagers were in the small sedan with Armijo behind the wheel on October 2 when the car hit a curb and crashed. Though he was wearing his seat belt, Schmitt hit his head on the roof and died. According to the report, speed was a big factor.

The investigator writes the car was traveling at an "excessive amount of speed." The report doesn't say how fast, but try 82 miles an hour in a 35 mile per hour speed zone. That number is from sources.

"That's just a tremendous abuse of speed," said former Houston police officer Rob Kimmons.

He has seen plenty of accidents.

Kimmons said, "When you're going that fast, it's just a tragedy waiting to happen."

We've also learned Armijo wasn't allowed to have that many passengers in his car. He hadn't even had his driver's license for six months, so by law he was allowed only one passenger who's not related and that passenger must be over 21 years old. He had five teenage boys.

"It's absolutely a distraction," said Roman Potuck of the Houston Driving School.

It is what Potuck and his instructors warn against daily at Houston Driving School.

"The more kids in the car, the more chances for collision," said Potuck.

The family of the victim and their attorney declined comment.

We're told a grand jury will ultimately decide whether Armijo will be indicted for criminal negligent homicide.

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