HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- Investigators are still considering whether to file criminal charges against a driver in Crosby accused of chasing his wife in a road rage race and killing an innocent driver and her son in the process.
The crash happened Sunday morning on FM-1942 near Garth Road, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said.
Tania Vercher, 27, and her 2-year-old son A.J., traveling northbound on FM 1942 in Crosby Sunday morning, were hit head-on by a man driving a Chevy Silverado pickup truck southbound.
Witnesses said the 52 –year-old pickup truck driver was speeding, passing other cars recklessly, trying to catch another vehicle driven by his wife. Security cameras at Bob N Jeans bar at 4700 FM 1942 captured the crash.
The pickup truck careened out of control on the right shoulder and spun sideways into the path of Tania Vercher’s oncoming small sedan.
“It was a roar of an engine,” said witness Chris McCoy who was in the bar parking lot when the crash happened.
McCoy was among the first to rush to the highway. He said he found Tania unresponsive and the child still strapped in his car seat.
McCoy said he used a pocket knife to try to cut the car seat from the vehicle because the pickup truck next to it was beginning to catch fire. Surveillance video shows him removing the boy from the back seat and attempting CPR while on the phone with 911.
Tania was pronounced dead the scene and A.J. died the next day.
McCoy said the pickup truck driver appeared stunned but was able to get out of his vehicle.
“He did make the comment, ‘Oh my Lord she can’t be dead’ or something like that. And at that point he went across the street and started arguing with his wife, which is what caused all this to begin with,” McCoy said.
Tania was the wife of Heath Vercher, the minister of music at Atascocita United Methodist Church. Vercher had taken the new position at the church just this past June and the entire family was in the process of moving from Baytown to be closer to their new Atascocita congregation.
“But obviously his heart is broken,” said AUMC Senior Pastor Andy Noel. “And he feels lost and very much alone.”
Noel and his staff at AUMC are now making arrangements for a Thursday morning funeral for Tania and her son. But as they rally to support their grieving minister of music Noel said they will also offer prayers to the driver accused of causing the fatal crash.
“And sometimes people make bad choices behind the wheel of a car. And that’s the way I view this is a very bad choice that’s resulted in a shattering of many lives,” Noel said.
Investigators are deciding if they will file charges against the pickup truck driver. They are waiting on the results of toxicology tests to determine the proper charges to file.
It is the practice of KHOU 11 New not to identify a suspect until criminal charges are filed. But Chris McCoy, who helped pull the lifeless child from the car, said he has already decided.
“The only thing I can think is that the justice system does the right thing and gives him life in prison,” McCoy said. “There’s no excuse for those actions period. But when it comes to a child I don’t take too fondly to that kind of thing at all.”
A fund to help the Vercher family pay for funeral expenses has been established at Wells Fargo Bank. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo branch to the “Vercher Family Fund.” Donations will also be accepted at Atascocita United Methodist Church.