Teen Driver who Hit Cyclists while Coal Rolling faces Felony Charges In Texas
Witnesses claim the teenager was taunting the pack of bicyclists with his truck, trying to spew exhaust over them, known as "Coal Rolling"
Waller County, Texas, officials announced felony charges on Monday against a 16-year-old pickup driver accused of crashing into a group of cyclists while trying to blow exhaust on them. The collision sent four bicyclists to the hospital.
The Waller County district attorney said his office had filed six charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against the driver, one for each biker hit by the truck, the culmination of a weeks-long investigation into the incident. The driver voluntary surrendered and will remain in custody until a juvenile court decision.
On Sept. 25, a group of cyclists were training for a triathlon when the driver started taunting them, the bikers said, revving his engine to spew exhaust on them in what’s known as “rolling coal.” When the driver sped up to reach another group of bikers, he hit six of the eight people riding along, causing a massive crash and sending four cyclists to the hospital, three with serious injuries.
Chase Ferrell, one of the cyclists who was behind the injured group, said the driver got out of the vehicle at the time and asked if he was going to go to jail.
“You did something really freaking stupid,” Ferrell recalled, adding: “You should go to jail.”
The driver wasn’t arrested, however, and his parents showed up shortly after the crash. Police arrived and let the teen go home without any citations, prompting an uproar from the Houston-area cycling community.
A legal representative for the driver siad that juvenile confidentiality laws prevented comment but said: “My client and his family continue to pray for the quick recovery of the injured bikers.”
Officials said they appreciated the patience of the victims while investigators sifted through evidence.
“We wish them the speediest of recoveries on their long journey ahead, and remind everyone to share the roads, obey the traffic laws, and to treat each other with the respect that we all deserve,” the district attorney said.