HOUSTON -- The search continues Wednesday for the man who crashed a stolen van into a water-filled bayou in southeast Houston.
The man may have not survived his attempt to get away.
It’s the second time this week someone in the Houston area has jumped into a bayou while trying to flee. This time it happened as firefighters tried to rescue the man just after he crashed into Brays Bayou.
Witness Robert Hornton lives nearby and said the speeding driver missed the turn off of Cullen.
“He went through all those wood barriers over there,” said Hornton. “He had to fly because the ground, there’s no tracks, and there’s a big gouge and all that dirt and grass is thrown onto the cement.”
The suspect was able to get out of the van on his own.
“He was on top of the truck and the fire department was speaking to him. They threw him the weight thing, the floaters, and he went under before he could get to it,” said James Valliere, another witness.
Valliere was sure that firefighters told the man not to jump.
“Most of them were just waving their hands, don’t do it,” he said.
The suspect was not located after he went into the water.
As it turns out, authorities said the van he was driving was stolen outside some University of Houston apartments less than a mile away. The man apparently crashed into a barricade there first before hitting the one at the bayou.
“To my understanding, no one was chasing him when he went over the side,” HPD Lt. Larry Crowson said. “He refused any help from firefighters, jumped into the water, and started swimming away and went under water.”
Crews broke open the driver’s window and opened the back door of the JC Construction van, but found no one else in the vehicle. A wrecker pulled the van out of the water late Tuesday night.