Chuks Uzoka, 15, was driving the family SUV home from church when he lost control and the vehicle slammed into a traffic light on Crabb River Road at Tara Drive.
Uzoka, who has a learner's permit, said he must have drifted off for a split second.
"I was really, really drained energy-wise. I didn't really get a lot of sleep the day before," he said.
His aunt, her son and his father Fidelis all had to be helped from the wreckage. Fidelis was taken by medical helicopter to the hospital, where he later died.
Chuks struggles with his grief and his guilt
"Especially when it happened, I was really hard on myself," he said regretfully.
Chuks remembers his father as a man with a quick wit, always ready to tell or play a joke. Fidelis Uzoka moved to the United States from Nigeria before Chuks was born. Fidelis was a CPA and owned his own cab company. Chuks isn't sure if he had life insurance.
"I know that they want to fly him back to Nigeria to be buried next to his wife," said Melissa Elliott, the mother of Chuk's best friend. She described Chuks as a good student, an excellent basketball player and a teen who is polite beyond his years.
"I just keep telling him, 'We're here,'" said Melissa Elliott.
This is not the only parent Chuks has lost unexpectedly. His mother died about three years ago of a pulmonary embolism, according to those who know the family best. Chuks has two older sisters who are both in college, but they do not live in the Houston area.
Friends, family and classmates of Chuks have started raising money for him through a YouCaring page where you can donate to help with funeral expenses and to help offset medical expenses associated with the accident.
His church, Masters Vessel Ministries, is also providing financial and spiritual assistance. Donations are also accepted at Independent Bank through an account under the name Chuks Uzoka. Call (281) 343-7700 to donate.
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