Two Killed As Houston High-Speed Police Chase Ends in Fiery Crash

Two people were killed in Houston, Texas early Friday morning when a driver being pursued by police lost control and crashed into another vehicle, sparking a fire and forcing the closure of a feeder road.

KTRK reported that a short car chase began when a driver without headlights on sped past a police car on Houston's West Beltway just after 4 a.m. local time. The police car—driven by a deputy from Harris County Precinct 5—gave chase.

But soon after the pursuit began, it ended when the suspect driver crashed into another vehicle. Both the suspect and one person in the second car were killed in the collision, which sparked a fire sending thick smoke billowing over nearby roadways and other drivers.

TranStar cameras captured the fire, the video showing other drivers edging past the flames and what appeared to be an emergency vehicle on the scene. The crash forced the closure of the feeder road at Clay Drive, though the West Beltway remained open.

Friday's incident is the latest high speed car chase involving Houston law enforcement. Last week, KTRK reported on an early morning high-speed chase that began in Houston and ended some 95 miles away near the town of Schulenburg in Fayette County.

The chase began around 3 a.m. when Harris County Precinct 5 deputies tried to speak with a driver who appeared to be asleep at the wheel in a lane of moving traffic. Police said the driver then drove away, leading police all the way to the I-10 where the vehicle was stopped with spikes on the road.

Constable's office spokesperson Jeff McShan said the driver fired gunshots out of the window during the pursuit, which lasted around two hours before the car was stopped in Fayette County just before 5 a.m. The suspect threatened to shoot himself, authorities said, prompting a standoff.

Officers used CS gas to subdue the suspect just after 8 a.m., at which point the man accidentally shot and injured himself, KXAN reported.

Earlier in March, another Houston car chase ended in a manhunt in the Kingwood area of the city after a suspect led police on a pursuit up the Eastex Freeway, KTRX said. A suspect pickup truck sped off when officers tried to stop the vehicle, driving to a wooded area in the northeast of the city.

When the truck stopped, as many as six people jumped out and fled. Police drafted in helicopters to help pursue the suspects, eventually taking at least three people into custody.