A woman was killed Thursday morning when a burglary suspect fleeing from police crashed into several vehicles at an intersection in the Stockyards, police said.
Gaudencia Meza, 58, was pronounced dead at the scene by officials with the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office about 11:10 a.m., according to authorities.
The suspect, Luis Young III, 26, was driving a stolen truck, police said. Young was admitted to the hospital on Thursday and was facing charges of evading arrest and detention causing death and property theft between $2,500 and $30,000, according to police. More charges could be added, police said.
Seven other people were injured in the wreck that involved seven vehicles and happened shortly after 11 a.m. at North Main Street and East Exchange Avenue, authorities said.
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Police said Meza was in a vehicle struck by the fleeing truck and was killed.
Sgt. Chris Britt said shortly aftter the incident that he didn’t know if the woman was a local resident or lived out of town. He called her an innocent bystander. He also mentioned that a police officer was “pretty distraught over what has happened.”
Later, the Tarrant County medical examiner identified Meza as a Fort Worth resident.
“This is a bad day for us. This is not something we want,” he said.
Britt said that a neighborhood police officer tried to pull over a suspected burglar. The suspect ran a red light before pulling over.
“The suspect opened the door, saw our officer who was in full police uniform, got back in the car, shut the door and took off at a high rate of speed” traveling south along Main Street, Britt said.
He said the neighborhood patrol officer lost sight of the suspect’s truck and a second police car in the area took up the pursuit. Britt said he did not know how far behind the police car was following.
At the intersection of Main and Exchange, the suspect’s vehicle smashed into several vehicles, witnesses said. A witness told the Star-Telegram she heard the crash and saw people running toward the scene.
Hailey Humberson, who works nearby at the Love Shack at 110 Exchange Ave., said one of the vehicles was occupied by an elderly couple. She noted that the man got out and said, “I can’t breathe.”
She said a woman was pulled from the vehicle and seemed to be unresponsive.
Humberson said she saw a man being pulled out of the back of a white pickup truck involved in the traffic stop and that he was handcuffed.
“He was covered in blood,” she said.
The intersection was strewn with clothing and other objects including a gas can, a speaker and a TV. Police said the objects were believed to have been stolen in the burglaries.
Police closed the streets for about half a block in all directions. Firefighters also were on the scene.
Britt said two unoccupied vehicles, a blue Chevy Tahoe and a silver Mazda Miata, were struck, along with a silver Jeep that was occupied by the deceased female and a man who was transported to a local hospital.
The white truck was occupied by the suspect and two females, Britt said. All three were transported to hospitals and the male suspect is in custody.
A red Jeep was also struck, but the man driving it was not transported, Britt said, along with a man driving a white Hyundai and a woman driving a silver Nissan.
A Fort Worth school district official confirmed that Antonio Martinez, principal at North Side High School, was involved in the collision.
“We’re just glad he’s OK,” said Clint Bond, Fort Worth Independent School District spokesman.
Contrary to prior reporting, Martinez said he rode in an ambulance after being knocked out in a collision that left him with pain in his neck and the left side of his face.
“I blacked out,” he said Tuesday. “I’ve got a black eye, my face is puffy and my jaw is swollen.”
He said he missed one day of work, last Friday.
Staff writer Mitch Mitchell contributed to this report.