Woman behind wheel of speeding car that killed pedestrian outside Montrose donut shop faces charge

Jeff Ehling Image
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Man on 1st date killed when car crashed into him in Montrose: Police
The woman on the date said they weren't supposed to go out until Friday, but the man knew she liked to sing so he took her to a karaoke event on Tuesday.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man is dead after a driver behind the wheel of a speeding car hit a couple on their first date at a donut shop in Montrose, Houston police say.

The crash happened at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday on Westheimer near Waugh in front of a Voodoo Doughnut shop.

Police said the driver may have been going around 100 miles an hour before the crash. Video officers saw of the crash apparently shows the woman behind the wheel of a Porsche going so fast, she couldn't navigate the curve on Westheimer, which led her to hit the curb and then the couple.

"We had gone to karaoke at AvantGarden. When we got out, the taco truck was closed, but he knew Voodoo would be opened," Briana Iturrino, the woman on the date, said. "He asked if I wanted to take my car. I said, 'Well it's not that far, we can walk. Fresh air.'"

The couple had just left the donut shop and were on the sidewalk when Iturrino said she saw the Porsche coming at them very fast. She told police she saw a flash and then tried to find the man she was with.

"I felt something graze my hip. I don't know whether it was the car grazing my hip, or Joe's foot as he flew by. Immediately, I was like, 'Where's Joe?'" Iturrino recalled.

Iturrino said she got on the phone with 911, and the dispatcher asked her to perform CPR until paramedics arrived.

The man died at the scene.

"He really loved music. It was one of the things we bonded over," Iturrino said of her date.

She said their first date was actually supposed to be on Friday, but the man knew there would be a karaoke event on Tuesday and knew she liked to sing.

"He said he wouldn't sing, but he wanted to hear me sing," Iturrino said.

Police say the car slammed into the man then continued for a short distance before running into a utility pole.

There were three people in the Porsche, and it was a woman in her 30s who was allegedly behind the wheel. Another woman was in the front passenger seat and a man in the backseat.

The two women were stable, and the man was unconscious when first responders took him from the scene.

Police said the 33-year-old driver showed signs of impairment. She now faces charges of intoxication manslaughter.

A witness who works at a bar nearby was at the scene and said he has seen his fair share of car accidents in this area.

"It's hard to see someone out on a date, and this happens. We went back inside and called our families and told them we loved them," he said.

The victim, according to Iturrino, was getting his master's degree in supply chain management.

"I know he loved his family. He said he spent the weekend with them in Galveston. He was so sweet. He smiled throughout the entire date. He didn't deserve to go like that. He didn't deserve to go at all," she added.

For more on this story, follow Jeff Ehling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.