Second driver in alleged Cedar Park racing crash that killed 2 boys arrested

Hayden Michael Hammer, left, and Blake Kirkpatrick. (Williamson County Sheriff's Office and Austin Police Department)
Hayden Michael Hammer, left, and Blake Kirkpatrick. (Williamson County Sheriff's Office and Austin Police Department)

CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — The second driver involved in what police say was a racing crash that killed two young boys in Cedar Park last month has officially been arrested and charged.

Blake Kirkpatrick, 22, is charged with two counts of racing on a highway causing death and one count of racing causing serious bodily injury. Kirkpatrick faces the same charges as Hayden Michael Hammer, 18, the other driver who collided with an SUV carrying a family of three on Jan. 10.

The Cedar Park Police Department says Hammer and Kirkpatrick were racing westbound on West Whitestone Boulevard when Hammer slammed into 31-year-old Zara Salman’s Nissan Rogue as she was turning left onto Walton Way. The impact of the crash killed 1-year-old Daniel Chaudhary and 8-year-old Elijah Chaudhary. Salman was Daniel’s mother and Elijah’s stepmother.

Hammer, who stayed at the scene, admitted to drag racing with the other driver. While Kirkpatrick left the scene, Cedar Park police put out information about his truck asking for the public’s help identifying the driver. Within a day, police say they were able to track him down.

According to witnesses at the scene, as they were at the traffic light at North Bell Boulevard and Whitestone Boulevard, the driver of a maroon Ford F-250, identified as Kirkpatrick, began revving his truck’s engine loudly as a driver in a Dodge Ram pickup pulled up next to him. Witnesses say the revving was so “extreme” that it rocked the Ford from side to side. The trucks took off when the light turned green, according to an arrest affidavit.

Surveillance video from nearby businesses showed the two trucks racing and approximately a few seconds later, the sound of the collision can be heard, continued in the affidavit.

When investigators spoke with Hammer, he told them the driver of the Ford motioned to him with his hand that he wanted to race, according to the affidavit. However, when detectives spoke to Kirkpatrick, he said a woman in Hammer’s truck began gesturing to him and pointing and laughing as they passed him. Over the course of the investigation, Kirkpatrick told co-workers the driver in the Dodge truck wanted to race but he didn’t race them, according to the affidavit.

“This is a reminder to all motorists that racing on a highway can have severe consequences,” said Cedar Park Police Commander Bryan Wukasch last month.

A GoFundMe page for the two boys killed and Salman has raised more than $63,000.

Court records show Kirkpatrick was released on bond from the Travis County Jail on Feb. 2. Williamson County Jail records show Hammer posted bond and released on Jan. 19, but then was rearrested on Jan. 23 when authorities charged with him the new charge of racing causing serious bodily injury.

Two boys died in a crash on Whitestone Boulevard and Walton Way in Cedar Park on Jan. 10, 2018. (KXAN Photo)
Two boys died in a crash on Whitestone Boulevard and Walton Way in Cedar Park on Jan. 10, 2018. (KXAN Photo)

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