Driver dies after slamming into NW Harris Co. home

April 23, 2012 10:09:39 AM PDT
There were some scary moments for a local family this morning as a driver plowed his car into their home. The family got out safely, but the driver was killed.

It happened just before 3am at a home on Devon Green near Westfield Village. Authorities identified the driver as 22-year-old Charles Stoneham, Jr.

They say Stoneham was driving a brand new red Camaro and was seen swerving and speeding along Devon Green. Police say he apparently lost control and struck a couple of curbs before crashing into the home. He died from his injuries at the scene.

"And now he's gone. He's gone. he's gone," said the victim's father, Charles Stoneham, Sr., who spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News at his northwest Harris County home.

Stoneham, Sr. says he couldn't have asked for a better kid.

"He acted like me, talked like me, looked like me. He was my twin," he said.

Late last night, Stoneham, Jr. was running out to grab food from a Jack-in-the-Box around the corner.

"He stepped in my bedroom and said, 'Dad, do you want anything?' I said, 'No and I told him be careful.' And he said, 'I'll be right back.'"

But the graduate of Cy Springs High School never returned.

"It was like more like a thump, thump and then boom," said neighbor Eric Miller. "I thought somebody hit my truck. That's why I was like, 'Whoa, what's going on,' you know."

On his way home, Stoneham, Jr., who was studying business at the University of Houston, crashed his 3-week-old Camaro in the side of the house.

"There were seven people in the house at the time. The vehicle struck in the living room. Fortunately, there was nobody in the living room. They were upstairs," said Sgt. Susan Cotter with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Neighbors who heard the commotion rushed to help, but say the young man was already dead.

"But I say, 'Hello, hello are you OK? Are you OK?,'" said neighbor Cece Perrera

But he didn't answer?" we asked.

"No, he didn't answer," said Perrera.

Investigators spent the morning recreating the car's trajectory. They say the driver was wearing a seatbelt and his airbags deployed. Authorities say there was no immediate evidence of alcohol in the Camaro, leaving a grieving father wondering what caused his son to lose control and leave him too soon.

"I hear people say that all the time how good their kids are, but that kid there was a great kid and I loved him," said Stoneham, Sr.

Investigators say speed did play a factor in the accident. They are still looking into why this young man was speeding in the first place, whether he was being followed or something else happened prior to this crash. Anyone with information is being asked to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

The house did sustain major damage.

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