Police chase ends in fatal crash, teen charged with murder

HOUSTON – A 19-year-old motorcycle rider was tragically killed when a police chase ended in a fatal crash in Northwest Harris County. A 16-year-old driver, who has been charged with a range of crimes, including felony murder and intoxication manslaughter, caused the deadly collision after running a red light in a stolen vehicle.

Police detectives reported that the incident began when an officer spotted a street race on Interstate 45 around 2 a.m. When the officer tried to stop the racing vehicles, the 16-year-old suspect, driving the stolen Kia Forte, accelerated and exited I-45 at FM 1960. Ignoring a red light and traveling at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, the suspect collided with the motorcycle, resulting in the death of the rider, identified as 19-year-old Andres Saldana Sorto.

Houston Police said Andres Saldana Sorto, 19, was on his way home when a 16-year-old allegedly hit him in a stolen vehicle.

Maria Saldana Sorto said her son was a family man who loved his family and worked two jobs to help provide for his parents. “He worked to help us, to pay the bills, food, whatever we need.”

Ms. Sorto said she does not wish this on anyone. She believes the police are wrong because they chase people, knowing they may cause an accident.

Law enforcement officials in Houston are now calling for stricter laws and harsher penalties concerning fleeing from the police. HPD Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite emphasized the urgency of revisiting legislation on the matter, stating that such reckless behavior is increasingly prevalent and dangerous. This sentiment was echoed by Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman, who expressed concern about repeat offenders being released on personal recognizance bonds shortly after arrests.

Constable Herman believes that tougher consequences are necessary to deter criminals from fleeing from law enforcement. Despite the tragic loss of life in this case, he has no immediate plans to change the pursuit policy in his jurisdiction, vowing to continue fighting crime and maintaining public safety.

The incident serves as a somber reminder of the dangers associated with police chases and underscores the urgent need for reforms in the criminal justice system. As investigations continue, authorities are focusing on preventing further tragedies by addressing the issue head-on and advocating for appropriate changes.