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Teen charged in crash that killed TSU law student

by Courtney Zubowski / KHOU 11 News & staff

Posted on October 21, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 21 at 10:23 AM

HOUSTON— The teen accused of causing a crash that killed a Texas Southern University law student was charged Friday.

Daniel Garcia Palacios, 17, is charged with manslaughter and felony accident involving injury or death in the crash that killed 27-year-old Halley Catherine Shaw.

Police said Palacios was fleeing from police in his uncle’s Buick LeSabre when he ran a red light and crashed into a Nissan Altima in southeast Houston Tuesday night. Shaw was in the back seat of the Altima and died at the scene.

It all began at about 11 p.m. after Houston police received calls about a suspicious vehicle parked in the 3900 block of Hamilton. When officers arrived, they saw two men sitting inside the gray Buick and ordered them repeatedly to exit the car.

Police said the passenger got out, but Palacios sped off.  They took the passenger into custody and radioed for backup.

Palacios allegedly ran the red light near Dowling at Cleburne and crashed into the Altima. The Altima driver and the other passenger were transported to Ben Taub Hospital in stable condition. 

Palacios bailed out of his vehicle and fled on foot before officers arrived.

Palacios’ uncle convinced the teen to turn himself in and escorted him to the police station Wednesday night.  Palacios told police he fled because he was smoking marijuana in the car and did not want to get caught.

The teen is being held without bond

Shaw, a second-year law student from San Francisco, had been out with friends and was on her way home when the wreck happened.

Olivia Mathias, a friend, said she and Shaw’s boyfriend, who lives in Dallas, knew something wasn’t right when they didn’t hear from her.

"I Googled what happened on the news last night because he said there was an accident last night, and he said he was worried," Mathias said.

Mathias said she was shocked to learn that her friend had died.

"She was the most outgoing, friendly, warm person, just always ready to have a good time," Mathias said.  "She just had plans, really big plans for the future. She was a very ambitious girl and she will be missed."

TSU law students planned to pay tribute to Shaw by carrying a banner in TSU’s Homecoming Parade this weekend in her honor, school officials said. The parade begins at Dowling and McGowan in Third Ward near Emancipation Park.