Family deals with tragic hit-and-run accident in SW Houston

September 22, 2011 10:11:46 AM PDT
We are learning more about the victims of an alleged drunk driver in southwest Houston. The 23-year-old man and 22-year-old woman were newly engaged. That young couple was run over and killed Wednesday night in southwest Houston.

The accident happened around 9:30pm on White Heather and West Fuqua Street.

The male victim, identified by family members as Tarrel Waller, moved to the Houston area last weekend from Florida to be with his fianc?e. The two were walking to a convenience store when they were hit by a car. Police identified the driver as 30-year-old Chavon Latowya Frank.

The pain is just too hard for Waller's mother to bear. Donna Dericho says she can't get the scene of the crash and the image of her 23-year old son's shoe out of her head.

"My baby," she sobbed.

Dericho, a Jehovah's Witness, says she was at a Kingdom Hall service last night when she got a weird feeling and knew something was wrong. That's when she says she drove by a mangle car but had no idea about the gruesome scene ahead.

"Everybody was saying there was an accident," she said. "I told her, 'Oh, that is my baby.'"

HPD says the driver of the Toyota Corrola was intoxicated when she ran a red light and crashed into Dericho's son and his 22-year-old fianc?. Police say as the female driver tried to flee the scene, she dragged Dericho's soon to be daughter-in-law about 50 yards down the street before continuing on.

Tarrel 's brother is still in shock. He woke up this morning hoping last night was just a dream.

"Stepping out to the sidewalk and they got taken away," said Tarrel 's brother Kevoni Dericho.

"There is no way of controlling emotions of wanting to be them, wanting to hold them, wanting to smell them, wanting to feel the warmth of their body," said Tarrel 's mother.

The driver was followed and subdued by a witness until police arrived. And though Dericho says she has already forgiven the suspect, she struggles to understand how she will go on without the son she adopted at age 14, the son who loved his mom as much as she loved him.

"I found my baby on the ground like paper. It was like a piece of paper. I couldn't go to him," she said.

Community members tell Eyewitness News they are trying to help the families bury the two victims.

Meanwhile, Frank has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.


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