Driver charged after deadly pedestrian accident

November 1, 2010 8:24:37 AM PDT
A man was killed and his baby son was injured in a tragic accident in north Houston. Police say just after 9am a woman flagged down an officer to say she saw a woman in a cream-colored car driving erratically. The officer drove around the area looking for the vehicle and spotted it just as the driver slammed into a man pushing a baby in a stroller. The man, Theodore Jones, 31, was thrown several feet and died at the scene.

Police say the driver kept going after the accident and the officer began following her, but without lights and sirens. The suspect then hit another vehicle before flipping over.

"He had no opportunity to find her," explained HPD spokesperson John Cannon. "He was just told that there was a female in a gold car, in a white-colored car, that's driving erratically, so he's driving up and down the street to try to look for it, to see which car it is. At that time he sees this accident and sees her fleeing from it. You're talking about a two or three block stretch here. He didn't even have time to activate emergency equipment or anything. So it's not like the female motorist thought that she was being pursued by the police or anything like that."

Jones' mother says he was legally blind but still managed to play the piano and organ skillfully. Friends tell us Jones was a talented organist for a nearby church. They add that he would often walk his children to school on the same stretch of road where he was struck and killed.

Police say just before impact, Jones shielded his seven-month-old son Seth in the stroller, possibly saving the child's life.

"According to witnesses, it looked like he was trying to protect the child from any serious injury," Cannon said.

The baby was taken to Texas Children's Hospital with a possible broken arm. He's described as being in stable condition.

Tearful friends rushed to the scene as soon as they heard the news. They say the married father of three was very involved with his church and often taught other church members how to play the organ.

"I was with him last night," recalled Luke Davis, a friend of the victim. "We're on our way to work this morning and we hear he got killed. It's like it's not even real."

Eleanor Jones, the victim's mother, said, "He loved God. He loved God. He got that from his mom because I raised him in church."

"He had a heart to just love people, his family, his friends," said Pastor Cherry Aramitge of the Miracle House Of Prayer. "He would give his last whatever he had. He was a beautiful person."

The driver of the other car struck is expected to be OK.

The suspect, Brenda Gail Johnson, was taken to a hospital with non life threatening injuries. Police say their investigation determined she was intoxicated, possibly on prescription drugs Johnson, 50, faces a charge of intoxication manslaughter.