Innocent man killed when suspected drunk driver hits car head-on

Courtney Fischer Image
Thursday, December 19, 2019
Innocent man killed in wrong-way crash with suspected drunk driver
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An innocent man was killed when a suspected drunk driver slammed into the car he was in with his cousin.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An innocent passenger who was killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver on I-45 at Rankin Thursday morning has been identified.

Deputies told ABC13 a man driving a Chevrolet Impala was heading north in the southbound lanes around 2 a.m. when he side-swiped another driver in an Infiniti and kept going.

The Impala driver, identified as 23-year-old Fernando Lopez, then hit a Dodge Charger head-on in the southbound lanes.

Antwon Wallace, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the Charger was killed. Deputies say it appears he was not wearing a seat belt.

Wallace's cousin, the driver of the Charger, Shandon Bell, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Officials say he did not show signs of impairment.

Lopez was also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Prosecutors say it's clear Lopez had been drinking but now they're trying to figure out where.

"Number one goal is to hold the person at fault responsible. The secondary goal for this entire community is to see if anyone else played a part in this loss of life. And if they did, they're going to get arrested, they're going to get charged and we're going to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law," said Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

"Another suspected drunk driver and another victim. Some family will receive the horrific news. That knock on the door is something far too many Harris County residents have had to experience," Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. "Drunk driving takes lives, breaks hearts and shatters families."

The freeway was shut down through the morning rush hour, but it reopened shortly before 7:30 a.m.

Police give tips to protect yourself from wrong way drivers