Driver charged with DWI after teen girl was ejected from her vehicle and killed in N Houston crash

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Monday, November 23, 2020
Teen killed by suspected drunk driver in N. Houston, sheriff says
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said she was "unrestrained" with "her car door wide open" and was killed when a driver ran into her.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash in north Houston by a suspected drunk driver, according to officials.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in the 200 block of West Road.

According to an update issued by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez around 4:45 p.m. on Twitter, an altercation broke out between two men at a nearby bank parking lot.

He said one of the men got into a Mazda 3, which was being driven by 19-year-old Adrienne Sophia Exum.

"She sped away onto West Rd, unrestrained & her car door wide open," wrote Gonzalez in the tweet.

Sgt. Aric Albers with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, who issued an update to reporters from the scene of the crash, said that's when Exum was hit by a driver in a Dodge pickup truck. That driver was later identified as Heriberto Fuerte-Padilla.

"[She was] ejected out of the vehicle into the roadway," he said. "Her head struck the roadway and she sustained a significant injury where she ended up dying on the scene."

Albers said the man who was with Exum was not injured in the crash. The two men involved in the altercation were detained.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez said Padilla tried to get away after the crash before deputies arrived. Albers said he was found a few hundred yards away and was detained by an off-duty officer in the area.

Padilla was found to be intoxicated, according to Albers, and has since been charged with DWI and failure to render aid.

Sean Teare, the chief of vehicular crimes with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, was also on the scene and said Padilla could be facing additional charges.

"Every one of these is a tragedy," said Teare. "Any one of these crashes are completely avoidable. This crash is kind of unique ... we're going to have to do some more investigating."

Video from the scene taken by an ABC13 viewer showed a heavy law enforcement presence as deputies conducted their investigation.

Video from an ABC13 viewer shows a blocked-off street with a heavy law enforcement presence.

The incident remains under investigation.