HOUSTON — Fnan Measho, 18, was working toward becoming a police officer in the city he loved, Houston. Those dreams were cut short Friday night when he and two other valet employees were killed while they were working in the Galleria area.
"Fnan was doing his job," Dawit Woldu said. "Such a senseless accident. It’s a tragic loss."
'Very responsible kid'
Woldu spoke on behalf of Measho's family, which immigrated to Houston from Eritrea, a country in northeast Africa. The teen ran track for Bellaire High School and graduated in May. Woldu said Measho taught Bible study at Eritrean Tewadeo Orthodox Church.
"He was a role model for the kids," Woldu said. "He was studying criminology. He wanted to be a police officer. Serve the community, the city that he loved so much."
He was a college student by day, attending the University of Houston-Downtown, and a valet by night.
"He was the breadwinner of the family," Woldu said.
Woldu said Measho's father is chronically ill and his mother has her hands full raising three younger siblings.
"He was such a kind, nice, but most importantly, very responsible kid," Woldu 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.
It happened at about 10:30 p.m. on Fairdale Lane near Fountainview Drive.
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, Nick Rodriguez and Eric 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.
Sean Teare, with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, called the scene the most "egregious" he has seen in a very long time.
“We’re out here because one person decided they didn’t want to get a ticket or potentially go to jail for a misdemeanor," Teare said. “We're talking about three individuals who were just out here working. They were out here doing their job.”
Teare said initial signs point to intoxication being a factor in the incident. Teare said the driver will be facing three felony murder charges, and if intoxication did play a role, additional charges will be filed.
The driver has not been positively identified.
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.