January 4, 2019

Action Alert:
Call for Charges Against Gun-Brandishing Driver Who Precipitated Deadly Accident

Update: The 14 year-old driver involved in this fatal crash was initially charged with murder for killing Silvia Zavala in the collision. That charge was downgraded to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle on April 10, 2019. The boy pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation. Christopher Lopez, 48,  has been charged with manslaughter for brandishing a gun at the car with the three boys, firing at them, and initiating the car chase that led to Zavala’s death. Lopez is also being charged with obstructing a highway in a separate incident. Thanks to everyone who participated in this campaign and made a difference!

On January 1, 2019, an unidentified 14 year-old boy and two of his friends (juveniles) took a GMC Acadia SUV for a joyride in Houston, Texas and began throwing eggs at cars passing by them on the road.

A driver in one of the cars that was hit by an egg brandished a semiautomatic firearm at the boys and began chasing them. They fled in panic, running a red light to escape him. As they did, they collided with a Ford pick-up truck, killing single mother Silvia Zavala behind the wheel.

The armed motorist who chased the teens in a gold Lincoln Continental saw this deadly crash happen, but fled the scene rather than stopping to offer assistance to the crash victims and report his role in the accident to responding law enforcement officers.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has brought murder charges against the 14 year-old driver of the SUV, who broke his ankle in the accident. But despite the fact that the identity of the driver of the Lincoln Continental is now known to authorities, no charges have been brought against him for illegally brandishing a firearm and failing to render aid at the crime scene.

Please contact Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and District Attorney Kim Ogg through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:

I was terribly saddened by the death of 45 year-old mother Silvia Zavala in a gruesome car accident on January 1, 2019. I see that a murder charge has been brought against the 14 year-old boy who was joyriding with his friends in a GMC Acadia SUV and throwing eggs at passing vehicles. But Ms. Zavala didn’t die because her car was hit by an egg. She died because the 14 year-old boy and his friends ran a red light while attempting to escape an armed man in a gold Lincoln Continental who brandished a semiautomatic firearm at them after his car was hit. That man fled the crime scene despite the fact that his actions contributed directly to the death of Ms. Zavala. Why has he not been charged with illegally brandishing a firearm and failing to render assistance to victims of the crash despite the fact that you now know his identity? I am getting REALLY sick and tired of seeing authorities pin accidental deaths on children and adolescents when the gross negligence of a gun-owning adult is a primary, contributing factor. I am going to be watching your actions in this case very closely. I want to see charges brought against this man IMMEDIATELY.  ENOUGH of negligent gun owners causing harm to others and then walking free without consequences. I will not tolerate it. It has made this community more dangerous and caused great suffering.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez
Phone:  (713) 221-6000
Email: Sheriff.Gonzalez@sheriff.hctx.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/edgonzalezhouston/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sheriffed_hcso

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg
Phone: (713) 274-5800
Email via webform: https://app.dao.hctx.net/contact/feedback
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Harris-County-District-Attorneys-Office-150891285427503/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarrisCountyDAO

Once you’ve contacted Sheriff Gonzalez and District Attorney Ogg, fill out the three fields below and click the orange button to report taking action!

This is an action alert, NOT an online petition. Please take the action before filling out the fields below.

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