• September 29, 2022

Evelina “Lina” McKenzie Killed in Hit-and-Run on Clearwood St in Houston, TX

UPDATE (October 14, 2022): Police have identified 26-year-old Chantay Solano-Saldana as a potential suspect in the hit-and-run dead of Lina McKenzie. As of this writing they have been unable to locate her and the public is encouraged to contact local law enforcement if they know her whereabouts.

Houston, TX — September 26, 2022, 36-year-old Evelina "Lina" McKenzie was fatally struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run on Clearwood Street in southeast Houston.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:30 a.m. on the 9500 block of Clearwood. Preliminary investigation suggests a Dodge Charger with four occupants was headed down the road at alleged high speeds when the driver lost control and hit a utility pole, causing the car to flip over. It then rolled into McKenzie, who was on foot nearby, before coming to rest upside-down.

McKenzie suffered fatal injuries in the accident.

The car's driver, believed to be a Hispanic woman in her early 30s, fled the scene on foot. Three passengers from the vehicle told police they had only just met her at a nightclub that night before they all left it together.

The investigation continues as police seek the runaway driver. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Evelina McKenzie Hit-and-Run in Houston

If reports have their details straight about this incident, it's deeply saddening and frustrating to learn of yet another hit-and-run on Texas roads. Every one of those accidents is preventable in that any driver can choose to stay and atone for their actions, yet it seems like every day I read about police in one city or another looking for someone who ran away after causing injury or death.

As with most hit-and-runs getting to a resolution may require diligent police work and cooperation from the community. I've seen many instances where concerned friends, family members, coworkers, or even just complete strangers called in helpful tips that led to the arrest of people who caused inconceivable harm like this, and while it may take some time I'm hopeful this will be another situation like that.

Evelina "Lina" McKenzie Killed in Hit-and-Run on Clearwood St in Houston, TX

In the course of their investigation I think it's important that police also find out how the driver and her new friends spent their time at the club that night. That may not seem important next to simply finding the suspect, but if the driver lost control because the club over-served her alcohol then that business may be liable for the victim's death as well under Texas dram shop law.

I think most would agree that everyone responsible for cutting a life short, including the business that fueled up the suspect for her ill-fated drive, should be held responsible for their roles in the damage done. Before questions of accountability can be settled, though, the first and most important step is tracking down the runaway driver. If police keep any new developments in the public eye and actively pursue any leads, I believe justice can be done. In the meantime, my heart goes out to the victim's family after their terrible loss.

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