Sugarland man charged in death of Angelina College student

Christopher Salazar mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Christopher Salazar mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Lufkin police have formally charged Christopher Salazar with criminally negligent homicide in the death of an Angelina College student who died after being struck by Salazar's vehicle last year.

Salazar, then 21, was traveling south on Highway 59 near Angelina College when investigators said his vehicle struck Brandon Hart as Hart was trying to cross the highway on foot.

Police said based on crime scene measurements, Salazar was driving approximately 96 miles-per-hour when the collision occurred.

A warrant was issued for Salazar's arrest following a grand jury indictment in February.  He was scheduled to be formally arraigned on the charges Monday, however, he waived his arraignment.  His next court date is 9 a.m. May 17th.

Belinda Hart, Brandon's mother, said in an interview with KTRE that her son was a wonderful role model who left a legacy of public service and a passion for life.  She said her son loved running and believed he was trying to cross Highway 59 from Angelina College to Deer Wood Apartments, where he lived.  She said she's already forgiven Salazar.

Salazar told police Hart, 19,  was crossing the highway on foot and ran out in front of traffic.  He said he swerved, but was unable to avoid hitting Hart. The college Freshman was pronounced dead at Memorial Medical Center.

KTRE will have continuing coverage of this story, as new information becomes available, here at and on the East Texas News.

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