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Cops: Man drives with dead pedestrian's body

Image: James John Onak
James John Onak has been charged with fatally striking a pedestrian on a Houston freeway on Tuesday. According to police, Onak drove several miles after the victim crashed through the windshield and landed in the passenger's seat. Houston Police Department via AP
/ Source: msnbc.com staff and news service reports

Authorities say a suspected drunken driver struck and killed a pedestrian on a Houston freeway, then drove several miles after the victim had crashed through the windshield and landed next to the passenger's seat.

A spokeswoman for the Harris County District Attorney's Office said 49-year-old James Onak faces a felony charge of failure to stop and render aid in a fatality and a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated. It wasn't immediately clear whether Onak had an attorney.

The name of the 32-year-old male victim was not immediately released.

Police say the victim's vehicle had broken down when he was hit early Tuesday and went through Onak's windshield. They said Onak drove about three miles before a deputy constable noticed damage to his vehicle and pulled him over.

"He could have pulled over at McDonald's, pulled over right there on the side of the road, but he chose to keep on coming," witness Nella Riley told NBC affiliate KPRC in Houston.

Onak told deputy constables that he thought he hit something, but he did not know a body was inside his car, KPRC reported.

"We asked him if he'd been involved in an accident and the driver did say yes, he had struck something. Did not say it was a person," Jason Finnen, with Harris County Precinct 8 Constable's Office, told KPRC. "He didn't indicate he knew there was a body in the car."

The Associated Presss and NBC affiliate KPRC in Houston contributed to this report.