Tragedy struck on September 7 when an 18-year-old driver of a stolen vehicle, Trenton Bevel, was charged with felony murder following a fatal collision that claimed the life of 75-year-old Gloria Collins, a respected pastor and the mother of a Houston Police Department sergeant.
The incident occurred at around 10:15 a.m. at a red light intersection on Martin Luther King Boulevard, near Van Fleet Street, as reported by the Houston Chronicle.
In a report by Christian Post, Gloria Collins, a beloved member of her community, was struck by Bevel, who was behind the wheel of a stolen Dodge Charger. This heartbreaking collision took place just moments after the police lost sight of Bevel, who was attempting to evade authorities. Tragically, Collins succumbed to her injuries at the scene, approximately 2 miles away from her MacGregor Park-area residence.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, deeply affected by the incident, identified Collins as the mother of an HPD sergeant. Additionally, a family member revealed that she was a faith leader within the Church of the Living God. Jerry Burley, who had known Collins for three decades and had been her pastor for 15 years, shared his admiration, saying, “She had so much talent it was unreal. Anything she set her mind to do. She did it.”
Trenton Bevel, the young man responsible for the stolen vehicle and subsequent fatal accident, is currently hospitalized in critical condition, according to official reports. He faces a grave charge of felony murder, a legal classification typically applied when a death occurs during the commission of another felony. In this case, it is linked to the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, as stated in court documents.
A judge has set a $500,000 bond for Bevel. Authorities disclosed that Bevel and another individual had carjacked a woman in the Hobby Airport area just one day before the tragic collision. The victim, Cathleen Hill, recalled the harrowing incident, saying, “These two young guys dressed in camo, a ski mask, they robbed me at gunpoint.” Remarkably, Hill managed to track her stolen vehicle using a dealership device and promptly informed the police, setting off a chain of events leading to the pursuit of Bevel.
Despite the police’s pursuit of the stolen Dodge Charger, the chase was terminated after Bevel was lost from sight, approximately a mile from the eventual crash site. Chief Finner clarified that the fatal wreck was not directly linked to the prior pursuit and did not violate HPD chase policies.
Tragically, two other innocent individuals were injured as a result of the collision and were transported to the hospital. Thankfully, their injuries were deemed non-life-threatening.
To honor the memory of Gloria Collins, Homegoing Services have been scheduled for Thursday morning at 5th Ward Baptist Church in Houston. Friends and community members have expressed their grief and condolences on social media.
Cecilia Blane Darden shared a heartfelt message on Facebook, reflecting on their shared experiences, saying, “We were excited about the upcoming conference in Temple. I get a call that broke my heart. I’m still in disbelief but God is a God that makes no mistakes, and you are a woman that loves our Heavenly Father. He called his daughter home, but God my God my God, one day we will rejoice again Dr. Gloria Collins. A few years ago we celebrated the Superbowl at Sea, we had a wonderful time.”
The tragic loss of Gloria Collins has left a void in the hearts of her loved ones and the broader community, serving as a somber reminder of the devastating consequences of criminal actions.