Highway Patrol examines Encinal high-speed crash
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TEEN DRIVER LOST CONTROL OF SPEEDING SUV NEAR CITY HALL, OFFICERS REPORT AFTER EMERGENCY AIRLIFT
An investigation has begun by the Texas Department of Public Safety into the circumstances of a high-speed crash in Encinal last week that left several travelers with serious injuries.
The US Department of Homeland Security has also been drawn into the case and is examining possible felony offenses related to the vehicle driver and his passengers.
The Encinal Police Department has issued a statement on the case, indicating a number of witnesses observed a 19-year-old driver traveling at a high rate of speed through the community moments before the crash Tuesday morning, January 17.
Police Lt. Angel Esparza said a police officer also saw the speeding sport utility vehicle shortly before 9 a.m. and was joined by other officers in attempting to effect a traffic stop on Hwy 44. The suspect, however, lost control of his steering near the IH-35 intersection, causing his SUV to collide with two parked vehicles near Berry Street.
The lieutenant described the collision as causing the SUV to flip and land in the parking lot of a nearby vacant gas station.
The driver and several of his passengers were ejected from the vehicle during the crash and sustained life-threatening injuries, according to emergency responders.
Lt. Esparza said police officers and staff from the nearby Encinal City Hall rushed to assist the injured and began providing first aid while medics from the La Salle Fire Rescue were on their way. Esparza said two male victims and the driver required airlifting to San Antonio hospitals due to the severity of their injuries; two other victims were transported to a Laredo hospital.
“Heroic lifesaving efforts were performed on several critically injured victims by all first responders and bystanders at the scene,” the police lieutenant said.
Identities of the driver and passengers have been withheld.