Families want justice for teens killed in crash

HOUSTON One year ago Saturday, three teens were killed in a crash. Authorities said a suspected drunk driver caused it.

The only survivor of the crash -- distraught over her friends' deaths -- then killed herself.

The man accused of causing the wreck has fled the country, and the victims' families are still waiting for justice.

Family and friends gathered at Beltway 8 and Eastex Freeway on Saturday night to hold a vigil where the accident happened.

The teens' parents said there will be no justice until the accused drunk driver is caught.

"It's just so much stress and hurtful pain," Stephanie Collins said.

Collins has been tied to fellow grieving mothers Toshiya Turner and Katty Alaniz by this tragedy.

"Every time I pass through here, I could see the three white sheets, just lying on the ground. It's just tough," Alaniz said.

What's even tougher for the folks who knew the victims is knowing that the accused drunk driver who crashed into the young friends is still on the run, and possibly in another country.

Twenty-five-year-old Sajan Timalshina was driving the SUV that killed Avianca Cortez, 13; Rashaunda Raleigh, 17; and Detrihanna Davis, 13. Despite a fatal scene, officers let him go that night, saying the field sobriety test was inconclusive. But a mandatory blood sample that came two days later revealed that he was legally intoxicated.

"How could he just leave, knowing that he killed three kids? You know what I'm saying?" Turner asked.

By the time police went to arrest Timalshina, it was too late. Investigators said he'd already fled to his native country Nepal.

"If [police] made the mistake, they should find a way to go get him," Alaniz said.

In memory of the victims, everyone at the vigil launched a pink balloon.

But the teens' parents say they just want justice for their girls.

"Until he gets caught, there is no moving on," Collins said.

We asked Houston police where the case stands. A spokesperson told us they are still working with U.S. Marshals to get the accused drunk driver back to the states.

Timalshina will be flagged if tries to re-enter this country. Our research shows that Nepal has an extradition act but no treaty with the U.S., which could mean little cooperation if he is indeed in his native land.

Copyright © 2023 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.