19-year-old identified as innocent woman killed in wrong-way crash with 'highly intoxicated' driver

Monday, April 12, 2021
19-year-old identified as woman killed in wrong-way crash
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Jaelyn "JaeRene" Chapman was only 19 years old and was already known for her big voice and community involvement in Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An innocent woman killed in a wrong-way crash on the Westpark Tollway early Wednesday morning has been identified as a Houston R&B singer.

Jaelyn "JaeRene" Chapman, 19, died in the crash that happened in the inbound lanes near Dunvale just after 2 a.m.

According to a release, Chapman was a Houston native, a self-proclaimed R&B princess, who had competed in local and national beauty pageants since the age of 4.

She was featured on the song "H-Town for Real (Remix)," which also starred artists including Paul Wall, Lil Flip and ZRo. In a YouTube video from April 2020, Chapman talked about some of her favorite music and genres, including being a George Strait fan and what it would be like to duet with him.

Along with singing, Chapman was known as a songwriter and host of Kidz Jams on 953 Jamz.

She also often hosted "Baddie Bootcamps," aimed at promoting self-esteem and body positivity among girls between the ages of 5 and 18.

"We will always remember Jae's smile, love for her music, talents, community involvement, bubbly personality, and huge heart. During this time, we ask that you keep her family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers. She will truly be missed by all of us. In the coming days, we will release additional information on how you can pay your respects to our beloved JaeRene," a release said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her family with the expenses for her funeral arrangements. If you'd like to donate, follow this link.

Authorities said the crash was caused by a "highly intoxicated" wrong-way driver. Three others in the car with Chapman were in critical condition, Harris County Pct. 5 Constable Assistant Chief Terry Allbritton said on Wednesday.

The wrong-way driver was injured, but is expected to survive, Allbritton said. He will be charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Authorities have not yet released the identities of the three other people injured or the accused driver.

"The message always, drunk drivers, is don't drive drunk, but people are going to do bad things. For the innocent people out there, what we always try to tell them is, when you're on a highway at night, if it's a two lane highway, stay on the right lane," Allbritton said. "Because a lot of times when these drunk drivers get up here. they think they're on a two-lane road when they're going the wrong way. So it's always dangerous at night to be on the inside lane of a two-way highway like the Westpark (Tollway)."

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