Three valets at a Houston restaurant were killed Friday night after a driver who fled from police hit them, authorities said.
A Houston Police Department sergeant saw the driver, who has not been identified, doing doughnuts in a parking lot before making his way onto a road, Assistant Chief Yasar Bashir said during a news conference early Saturday morning. When the sergeant turned on his emergency lights in an effort to pull over the driver, he sped away, according to police. Within seconds, the driver hit three people working as valets before coming to a stop in a ditch, Bashir said. They were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names have not been released.
The driver and a passenger in the car were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare said the driver hit speeds of at least 60 mph when he hit the valets. The road he was speeding down is narrow and has speed bumps leading to two busy restaurants situated at the end of it.
"That car was really moving," Teare said.
The valets were working for Prospect Park South as contracted employees, the restaurant said in a statement.
"We’re talking about three individuals who were just out here working," Teare said. "They were out here doing their job."
"At the end of the day, we’re going to prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law because this is completely unacceptable," he added. The driver could face three counts of first-degree murder.
The Houston Police Department, which is investigating the crash, is looking into whether the driver was intoxicated.
"This one is as egregious as we’ve seen in a very long time," Teare said. "We’re going to look at every possible way to hold this person accountable for the carnage that they wrought tonight."
A balloon release to honor the three valets was scheduled for Monday night at Prospect Park South.
"We have been in contact with the families of the victims, and we ask that you keep the families of the 3 victims in your thoughts and prayers," the restaurant said in a statement.