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HCSO: Teen killed in possible DWI crash in Channelview

Sunday, September 15, 2013
Neighbors: Deadly Channelview crash isnt the first there

Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies said a tree in a northeast Harris County front yard stopped a speeding driver Sunday morning. As they pulled the wreckage away, a teen passenger was dead, the driver was in critical condition and alcohol was suspected to be behind it all.

The single-vehicle crash happened just before 7am in the 15200 block of Woodforest Boulevard near Canna in Channelview. Both people in the car were reportedly out the night before watching the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez boxing match.

"They had been at an unknown location watching the boxing match, and that's all we know at this point. We don't know exactly where they were coming from," HCSO Sgt. Susan Cotter said.

HCSO deputies said Wilfredo Chavez Lopez was driving east on Woodforest at a high rate of speed when his Honda Civic left the roadway, hit a curb and crashed into a tree in the front yard of a home.

Neither Lopez nor his passenger was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, deputies said. Lopez was ejected upon impact. He was taken to Ben Taub General Hospital via ambulance in critical condition.

Passenger Carlos Senea was dead in the front seat when deputies arrived at the scene. Officials at the scene told us he was 18 or 19 years old.

Deputies believe alcohol is a factor in the crash.

This case remains under investigation, and Lopez could face charges in his Senea's death.

The speed limit in the area is 30mph. Neighbors tell us speed is a common problem on the winding roadway, and this is not the first fatal crash here.

"They put a light up here, a regular stoplight. And then they made a turn light, but it doesn't seem to help any," neighbor Jesse Cranford said.

Cranford told us his driveway on Woodforest tells part of the story.

"People come through here like an international speedway," Cranford said.

It's a kaleidoscope of car parts from accidents past.

"Hit the curb, hit my truck and turned completely around and did $6,800 worth of damage to the back end of my truck," he said.

Up and down the street, neighbors have similar stories and roadside memorials to remind them.

There's also a school zone on the same strecth of roadway, so it's 20mph when school is in session. And that's what concerns area residents the most.

"They have no conception that there's children living here, all up and down this street," Cranford said. "It's a mess. I don't know what they can do to correct the problem but they need to do something."

Find Christine on Facebook at ABC13ChristineDobbyn or on Twitter at @christinedobbyn

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