A teenager was killed and his mother was critically injured in a crash involving the driver of a stolen minivan fleeing the Highland Park police Tuesday morning, officials say.
Lt. Max Geron with the Dallas Police Department said the teen killed was a passenger in a car struck by the driver of a minivan fleeing a traffic stop near the M Streets.
"It's awful it's awful, nobody was expecting that this morning, they probably didn't even know what hit them," said eyewitness Brian Gray.
The teen was identified by the Dallas County medical examiner Tuesday afternoon as 13-year-old Ethan Vasquez. NBC 5 has learned the teen's father, Sgt. Victor Vasquez, works for the Cedar Hill Police Department and that the boy was in the 7th grade at the William B. Travis Academy.
"He was just full of life, a very smart intelligent little boy who just loved life, who was always on the computer playing games and stuff." said Ethan's uncle Ruben Vasquez. "A good little boy. Smart, smart kid."
His mother, Sandy Vasquez, is in critical condition at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. Police officers and other first responders spent the day in and out of the hospital supporting the Vasquez family.
"We are his second family. Fire and police officers alike as well as any emergency personnel, and we are just here in a show of support for him," said a Cedar Hill Firefighter.
During a news conference Tuesday morning, Highland Park Police Sgt. Lance Koppa said an officer witnessed a moving violation at about 8:15 a.m. and attempted to stop the driver of the minivan. The driver of the minivan refused to pull over and the officer pursued.
Koppa said the chase was terminated and the pursuing officer slowed down and turned off his lights when the driver of the minivan sped into a residential area near the M Streets. Koppa said even though the officer pulled back from the chase, the driver of the minivan continued to drive recklessly.
From a distance the officer then saw the driver of the minivan run a stop sign at Homer Street and Monticello Avenue and collide with a sedan crossing the intersection, police said. The sedan was then pushed into a third vehicle stopped at the intersection.
Koppa and Geron said the driver of the third vehicle got out to assist the victims in the sedan, and that's when police believe as many as two people ran from the stolen minivan.
"The mother was nonresponsive at first but then they got her, she started to kind of at least she was breathing, and they were getting a little bit of movement out of her and then when we saw the boy I just you know I just feel so sorry cause I, he was just nonresponsive," said eyewitness Peter Ferris.
Geron said the minivan had been reported stolen about two weeks ago and that a description of the person(s) who fled the scene are not yet available. Police continue to search the area for those involved in the hit-and-run.
Oak Farms Dairy is offering a $15,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the driver of the vehicle that hit Ethan and Sandy Vasquez. Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Dallas police.
NBC 5's Julie Fine and Randy McIlwain contributed to this report.