HOUSTON — A teen driver accused of killing three valet workers has been charged with three counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. Family members of the victims say no matter what happens, it still won't bring back their loved ones.
The 17-year-old driver is accused of doing donuts in a parking lot before hitting and killing 18-year-old Fnan Measho, Nick Rodriguez and Eric Orduna.
Orduna's family devastated
With tears streaming down his face, Junior Orduna, and his mom Rose, remembered 22-year-old Eric Orduna.
“I just loved him so much. I still love him so much,” Junior Orduna said. “Such a sweetheart and just loving, caring ... very proud of all of us as we were proud of him.”
Eric Orduna had just started the job about eight months ago.
“When he got this job he took me to where they park the cars,” Rose said. “I said, ‘Oh Papi, be careful! This street looks so small.’ It was narrow.”
Rose said her son loved cars and music. She's heartbroken and doesn't understand some of the details about what the police said happened.
“I don’t understand why they’d have to chase this car like that ... on a busy street,” Rose said.
Trae tha Truth offers support
Junior Orduna reached out to Houston rapper and community activist Trae tha Truth, who stepped up to help the family raise money for funeral expenses.
“You never really want them to have to experience that, and this situation, it was really devastating,” Trae said.
Houston police said the valet employees were killed Friday night when a driver who had been caught doing donuts in a parking lot sped away from police and crashed into them.
Houston police said a sergeant on patrol saw a vehicle doing donuts in a private parking lot in the Galleria area. Moments later, the vehicle started driving eastbound on Fairdale. The sergeant turned on his emergency lights to try to stop the driver, and within seconds, police said the vehicle sped away.
When the sergeant caught up, police said, the car had crashed in the 6200 block of Fairdale.
According to police, the car struck the three valet employees, went through a ditch and hit a pole before coming to a stop.
Measho, Rodriguez and Orduna were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and his passenger were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Prospect Park said all three of the valet employees worked at their restaurant.
Honoring the victims
Measho, Rodriguez and Orduna will be honored Monday night with a balloon release at 7 p.m. at the place where they worked.
Prospect Park said it donated all weekend proceeds to the families of the victims.
Reaction from the scene
Shundra Wright said one of the valets had just parked her car and died with her keys in his hand.
“He was walking back to valet with my keys and I came out and ... it was just horrible,” Wright said. “They didn’t deserve this at all.”
Those close to the scene said the three employees were just doing their jobs and now they're left to cope with an irreversible tragedy.
“It’s unfair. They were good people. They were friends of mine,” Naif Nawaz, who works at a private parking lot across the street, said.