A 14-year-old Texas boy has been charged with murder after his egg-throwing prank resulted in a deadly car crash that killed a “totally innocent” woman, authorities said Wednesday.
“This is an ongoing investigation but we want to send out our condolences to Silvia Zavala’s family. The situation is heartbreaking, and we are doing everything we can to get answers quickly,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told The Daily Beast Wednesday.
The teen, who has not been publicly identified by authorities, was inside his father’s tan GMC Acadia with two friends on New Year’s Day when the trio began throwing eggs at passing cars on Aldine Mail Route Road in Houston, Gonzalez said Tuesday night.
The prank took a deadly turn when an angry driver whose car was damaged by the onslaught of eggs chased the teens and allegedly flashed his semi-automatic handgun at them, the boys told police.
In an attempt to flee, the teens sped through a red light at 60 mph and slammed into a maroon Ford F-150 pick-up truck around 2:20 p.m., causing both vehicles to tumble into a nearby ditch. The crash killed 45-year-old mother Silvia Zavala, who was driving home, authorities said Wednesday. Two of the teens suffered minor injuries.
The driver chasing the teens, who has been located and is now “cooperating with the investigation,” did not stop at the scene and could be facing legal troubles of his own, authorities said.
Zavala’s family declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment at this time, asking for “privacy during this horrific and shocking time.”
“She was totally innocent and based on the debris at the scene, she had just gone shopping,” Gonzalez said. “There were several shopping bags and new clothes with tags on them. When they lifted the car from the ditch, they found a new purse still in plastic.”
The teen prankster, who does not have a valid driver’s license, suffered a broken ankle in the crash and was taken to LBJ Hospital in Houston along with one of his friends, who was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. The third teen was uninjured and interviewed by police at the scene.
On Wednesday morning, the 14-year-old driver was arrested on a second-degree murder charge and booked into the county juvenile detention center, police said. It was not immediately clear whether the teenager has a lawyer.
A classmate and neighbor of the teen driver told KPRC that she was stunned to learn her friend would even attempt to drive his father’s truck at such a young age.
“Whenever I saw this, I was like wow! I was like, oh my God, he is so young, why did he even drive that car like he is,” the 14-year-old girl said Wednesday.