Tuesday, August 13, 2013
A high speed chase outside of Mission, Texas, turned deadly when the driver behind the wheel of a stolen pickup truck slammed into three other vehicles, killing four young children and their mother and father in an SUV, authorities said.
Alton Police Department Chief Enrique Soleto told ABCNews.com that the suspect, identified as Hector Ramirez, 18, of Roma, Texas, smashed into a Chevrolet Suburban with a family of seven inside, as well as two other vehicles, at an intersection in a rural area near Mission, on Monday afternoon.
Six of the seven family members inside the SUV were killed on impact, Soleto said. A 3-year-old boy was the only passenger in the car to survive the crash. The boy was airlifted by helicopter from the scene, Soleto said, but he did not know where he was transported.
Passengers in the other vehicles involved in the crash were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The family members killed in the SUV were identified as Jose Luis Ortiz, 55; Olga Lidia Morales-Cardoza, 35; Elias Ortiz, 1; Fernanda Ortiz, 3; Ricardo Ortiz, 5; and Jose Ortiz, 6; all from Penitas, Texas. The survivor was 3-year-old Jesus Ortiz.
The accident occurred after a Texas Highway patrol sergeant engaged in a high-speed pursuit of stolen truck on Monday afternoon, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
Ramirez allegedly fled the scene in the stolen pickup after the crash, but was soon caught by the sergeant and taken to a local hospital, according to the DPS.
Soleto said the truck had been reported stolen more than a week ago. He did not know how fast the car was driving when it collided with the other cars in the roadway.
Because the crash occurred less than 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, border patrol agents responded to the accident, they were not involved in the chase, Soleto said.
Nick Espinosa, spokesman for the Mission Regional Medical Center in Mission, told ABCNews.com that a mother, 39, and her 5-year-old and 8-year old children who were involved in the accident were brought to the hospital as a precaution and released Monday evening.
A spokeswoman for the South Texas Health System told ABCNews.com that three adults were brought to the McAllen Medical Center in McAllen, Texas. They were in stable condition as of 6 p.m. Monday, she said.
The DPS said the accident is under investigation. It is unclear why the sergeant was engaged the suspect behind the wheel of the stolen truck in a high-speed chase.