Charges could be upgraded for a suspected drunk driver accused of killing a 20-year-old man in a hit-and-run crash on his way home from the Taylor Swift Era’s Tour concert early Saturday morning, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Jacob Lewis was hit and killed while trying to help his sister push her stalled car off the Southwest Freeway.
Houston police believe the driver, 34-year-old Alan Bryant Hayes, was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
CHARGED: Booking photo of Alan Bryant Hayes, 34, in custody and now charged with 2 felonies in this fatal crash: DWI (3rd offense) & failure to stop and render aid.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) April 24, 2023
Over the weekend, a judge set Hayes’ bond at $90,000 total — $20,000 for a felony driving while intoxicated charge and $70,000 for a failure to stop and render aid charge.
However, in a court appearance on Monday, the judge increased his bond for DWI to $50,000, bringing the new total to $120,000.
Prosecutors argued the initial $20,000 was not sufficient because this is Hayes’ third DWI offense.
After Monday’s hearing, Kelly Marshall, the prosecutor handling the case, said Hayes’ failure to stop and render aid charge could be upgraded to felony murder.
Marshal said Hayes was arrested in Montgomery County on April 19 — just days before the concert — on a drug-related charge. Prosecutors believe he was out on bond for that charge at the time of the deadly crash.
Hayes’ story about whether he had been drinking that night reportedly kept changing.
“The investigation is ongoing, but the statements that we do know is that initially, the defendant said that no, he hadn’t drank anything. He had no alcohol in his system. Later, that changed to, ‘Well, I had a drink.’ Later, that changed to, ‘Well, I had a couple drinks.’ Later, that changed to, ‘Well, it was a very large fruity drink but I don’t know what it was,'” Marshall said. “So, we obviously have inconsistent statements. We have clues of intoxication. So, looking at the totality, the judge agreed that there was probable cause for this offense, that he was, in fact, intoxicated.”
The suspect also allegedly admitted to taking two yellow pills that he claims were prescribed to him for tooth pain.
Lewis and his sister April Bancroft left Friday night’s Taylor Swift concert at NRG Stadium and were driving home along I-69 northbound near Shepherd around 1:15 a.m. when Bancroft’s car stalled on the freeway.
Police said Lewis got out and started to push the car while his sister steered toward an exit.
Investigators said Hayes, who was driving a Volkswagen Beetle, rear-ended the vehicle, killing Lewis instantly. Bancroft sustained minor injuries.
Marshall noted that Bancroft said the car had already been pushed to the shoulder when Lewis was hit.
After the deadly crash, Hayes reportedly stopped and got out, but then got back in his car and drove off. Bancroft reportedly begged him not to leave.
A tow truck driver who heard about the crash and spotted Hayes driving erratically decided to follow him, police said.
The tow truck driver followed him to the 4500 block of Caroline Street before police were called.
Hayes attempted to run away on foot but was apprehended by HPD officers a short time after.
Marshall said Hayes admitted to police that he was the driver but chose to flee after he saw what happened because he was scared.
Now, Bancroft is left to mourn her last moments with her brother together at the concert.
“Knowing we had that experience as our last memory is something wonderful to hold on to, and I will forever,” she said.
A GoFundMe set up for Lewis’ family has raised about $52,000 as of Monday afternoon.
Many fellow Swifties are leaving $13 donations — a nod to Taylor’s lucky number.