Police determine racing cause of fatal crash in Cedar Park


Cedar Park Police determined street racing caused a fatal crash near the intersection of West Whitestone Boulevard and Walton Way last week, killing two young children.

Step brothers Daniel, 1, and Elijah Chaudhary, 8, were killed by a t-bone collision between a 2016 Nissan Rogue and a 2008 Dodge Ram truck at about 3:50 p.m. Jan. 10. Elijah attended Winkley Elementary School in Leander.

Their mother, Zara Salman, 31, was taken to the hospital and remains unconscious in critical condition, officials said.

Police identified 18-year-old Hayden Michael Hammer as the driver of the Dodge truck and arrested him Thursday afternoon for two counts of Racing on Highway Causing Death. The second degree felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Hammer, who moved to the area recently for work, will be booked into the Williamson County Jail, police said.

Investigators conducted a preliminary on-site investigation, as well as a reconstruction of the crash. Based on the evidence and information gathered from witnesses and nearby surveillance video, police determined the driver of the Dodge Ram pickup truck was racing another truck in the westbound lanes of W. Whitestone Blvd prior to crashing into the Nissan, which was turning left onto Walton Way.

No drugs or alcohol were involved, police said.

Police are asking for help in identifying the driver of the second truck involved — a maroon or red Ford F-250. Call 512-260-4600 with any information.

“In one split second, a decision that may seem harmless on the roadway, from young and old alike, can have life altering consequences,” said Commander Bryan Wukasch. “We have four lives that will forever never be the same and all the family and friends that are related to Ms. Salman and the two boys who were tragically killed last week.

“This is a reminder to all the motorists out there that racing on the highway can have severe consequences,” Wukasch continued.