A teenage driver who blew black smoke from his truck on cyclists and then ran them over in Waller County in September has been charged, authorities said.
The Waller County District Attorney’s Office on Monday said the 16-year-old was charged with six felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one for each cyclist injured. The teenager turned himself in earlier Monday, according to a statement.
The office added that since the Sept. 25 incident, investigators were assigned to “seek out evidence” and interview the victims and witnesses, but many cyclists criticized the delay in charges.
The six cyclists, who were training for an Ironman triathlon, were struck in a rural area on Business U.S. 290 that’s west of Waller.
A crash report stated that the driver was intentionally blowing black smoke, or “rolling coal,” when he reached for his cellphone and hit the cyclists, according to KPRC, KSAT’s sister station in Houston.
They suffered various injuries including broken vertebrae, broken bones and traumatic brain injuries, KPRC reported.
The driver stayed at the scene and spoke with police, but was ultimately released.
On Monday, the district attorney’s office said he will remain in custody “until further orders of the juvenile court.”
“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 statement read. “Attorneys for the victims will be kept apprised of the status of the cases as they make their way through the justice system.”
Waller County is located northwest of Houston.