2 people killed when SUV slams into forklift at high speed on Houston's south side, HPD says

Jessica Willey Image
Friday, February 10, 2023
2 people killed when SUV slams into forklift at high speed, HPD says
Houston Police Department's Vehicle Crimes Division was called to Bellfort Avenue near Highway 288 for a crash that killed two people.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Prosecutors are expected to backtrack to the location where an SUV driver was drinking before getting behind the wheel and later slamming into a working forklift, killing two passengers on Thursday night.

Houston Police Department responded to the wreck in an industrial area on Bellfort Avenue near Highway 288 at about 6:30 p.m.

An Eyewitness News camera captured what was left of the SUV seen clinging to the industrial vehicle.

The crash also left a front-seat passenger and the driver injured, according to Sean Teare of the Harris County District Attorney's Office. Those two people were sent to the hospital.

The forklift operator walked away from the carnage without any serious injuries.

Investigators said the forklift was at work and crossing the road when the crash happened. They added that the SUV had a chance at stopping due to another vehicle at a standstill waiting for the forklift.

Teare, who is the district attorney's chief vehicular crimes prosecutor, offered details at the scene, including the 70-mph speed the SUV was traveling in the 35-mph zone. He added that the driver admitted to drinking moments before and that open containers were inside the vehicle.

Speaking to the crash's impact, Teare noted the forklift holds enough weight to make the collision feel like hitting a brick wall.

"The severity of this crash was completely because of the speed that someone was traveling at on a 35 mph road. That being said, we're not even talking about a (Ford truck) F-250. This is a multi-ton vehicle. This is probably a five-ton vehicle," Teare said.

None of the occupants have been identified yet. The driver may face two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault

The district attorney's office will also go back to see where the driver was drinking to determine whether the serving bartender or the establishment will face any criminal charges.

SEE ALSO: Man who lost wife and baby in drunk driving crash files $40 million lawsuit against bars, driver

4 charged in drunk driving crash that killed a mother and her baby, Deborah Wrigley reports.

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