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Driverless Truck Crashes Into Home, Kills Woman

Police say theft suspect jumped out of vehicle during chase
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2021 4:47 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Texas woman was killed early Tuesday when a stolen, driverless big rig slammed into her home. Police in Harris County say they tried to pull over the stolen tractor-trailer after locating it via GPS around 12:30am, but the driver refused to stop. After a brief chase, he jumped out of the moving vehicle, which crashed through a metal gate and then into the home, KHOU 11 reports. Jeff Conyers and Aylene Heaney, who had been asleep in a bedroom, were trapped under the 18-wheeler, police say. Heaney, 50, was pronounced dead at the scene. Conyers, her husband, was hospitalized with severe injuries. The suspect, identified as Eric Black, landed in a ditch after jumping out of the vehicle and was caught by deputies as he tried to run away.

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Authorities say Conyers, 54, was trapped under the truck's gas tank for more than an hour before he was freed, Click2Houston reports. Two other adults in the home were not injured. Authorities say Black has an extensive criminal record and was on parole for evading in a motor vehicle. "When you talk about getting behind the wheel, for someone who has already been convicted of running from the police, and then deciding to do it in an 18-wheeler, and literally leave that vehicle, and direct it as a missile into that house, this is one of those that it going to stay with you awhile," said Assistant Harris County DA Sean Teare, per KHOU 11.

"This as brazen and callous as any of these crashes that we deal with," Teare said. Black now faces charges including felony murder and reckless aggravated assault. Chris Conyers, Jeff Conyers' brother, said the house collapsed and his brother didn't have insurance. "He has lost his love, his home, and basically everything he owned," he wrote on a GoFundMe page, adding that Conyers "has a lengthy recovery ahead of him" and "will not be able to work anytime soon." (Read more Texas stories.)

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