Passenger killed in possible drunk driving crash in Clear Lake area

HOUSTON (FOX 26) — One person is dead and another was critically injured when two pickup trucks and a rideshare car crashed in Clear Lake City. 

The accident happened at around 1 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Pineloch and Old Galveston Road. 

Police say a large pickup truck clipped the side of a smaller pickup truck, then went into the intersection.

That's when the large pickup truck t-boned the rideshare car that was making a lefthand turn from Pineloch onto Old Galveston Road. 

The passenger, who was identified as Dr. Billy Satterfield, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the car, identified as Ezatullah Safi, was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Police say the driver of the large pickup, 21-year-old Erik De Leon, admitted at the scene that he had consumed several shots of tequila.

Authorities are working to confirm that information and he was taken to the hospital with injuries determined not to be life-threatening.

Meanwhile, the driver of the smaller pickup was not injured, but was given a field sobriety test and taken into custody.

FOX 26 News has learned that Ezatullah Safi worked as a Lyft driver on the side for additional income for his family. He has a wife and two children. He is also a refugee from Afghanistan, who helped the U.S. Army as a translator. One of his childhood friends, Wasiullah Sahak, spoke with FOX 26 and said, “He has this idea where he was thinking that maybe I’m going from a country where there’s a war to a country where I can have a better future for my kids."

Lyft issued the following statement to FOX 26:

We are deeply saddened by the news of this tragic accident and resulting loss of life. Our thoughts are with all those impacted. We have reached out to those involved and stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.

Dr. Billy Satterfield was heading home from the airport that night. We were told he worked for the University of Houston-Clear Lake from 2007 until 2018.

University of Houston-Clear Lake issued the following statement to FOX 26:

Dr. Satterfield helped shape and strengthen the services provided by University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Financial Aid Office and the Registrar’s Office during the university’s transition to a 4-year university. UHCL offers condolences to Dr. Satterfield’s family, friends and all who knew and loved him.

FOX 26 reached out to De Leon's family. His father, Julian De Leon, said his son Erik moved to Houston for work and was living with an aunt in Webster.

“We are terribly devastated from this incident that happened just overnight, and maturation of those," Julian told FOX 26 in an exclusive interview. "It’s a bad situation on both sides you know, and I just want to reach out to Dr. Satterfield’s family for their loss and for Mr. Safi, that is in a coma right now fighting for his life and our prayers are going to all the families that were involved in this tragic, tragic event.”

Investigators are now trying to determine which establishments served De Leon alcohol that night, so there may soon be more charges in this case.