Fatal Overnight Hit-and-Run Crash Closes Northbound I-35E in Carrollton

Carrollton police said they arrested the hit-and-run driver who started the chain reaction crash

Thanks to the license plate falling off a vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run, Carrollton police say they made an arrest just hours after the crash that left one woman dead and closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 35E in Carrollton for several hours early Wednesday morning.

At about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, the driver of a black SUV crossed multiple lanes of traffic to try to exit I-35E onto the George Bush Turnpike, Carrollton police said, colliding with a vehicle in the far right lane and pinning it against a wall.

A third vehicle was unable to stop and hit the pinned vehicle, causing it to flip and kill 42-year-old Cleotilde Benitez, of Lewisville, police said. A fourth vehicle was also involved in the crash, but there were no other reported serious injuries.

The driver of the black Hyundai Santa Fe that police said started the multi-vehicle crash left the scene but the SUV's license plate fell off at the crash site.

Gregory LaMasters, 43, of McKinney, was arrested Wednesday morning according to Carrollton police spokeswoman Jolene DeVito. DeVito said he'll be charged with failure to stop and render aid that resulted in death, which is a 2nd-degree felony.

While police and first responders addressed the crash, the northbound lanes of I-35E were closed between Whitlock Lane/Sandy Lake Road and Frankford Road. The roadway reopened to northbound traffic at about 5:40 a.m.

NBC 5's Josh Ault contributed to this story.

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