A Garland family is mourning the loss of a young mother who was killed in a crash involving a man running from police. Her young son was also critically injured. Meanwhile, an Oklahoma man is facing multiple charges after the fatal crash.
According to the Garland Police Department, officers stopped the driver of a black Honda Accord for a traffic violation near Shiloh Road and Northwest Highway at approximately 3:30 p.m. Monday.
Police said the Accord was occupied by three individuals.
"When the officer approached the driver, he observed evidence of narcotics in the vehicle,” said Lt. Pedro Barineau of the Garland Police Department. “[The officer] was waiting for his backup to arrive and before they could further investigate. The driver of the Honda Accord who had been stopped fled the scene at a high rate of speed.”
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The officers attempted to catch up to the vehicle but lost sight of it as it sped northbound on Garland Avenue, police said.
According to police, officers who were on an unrelated call near Axe Drive and Garland Avenue saw the Accord speed past them.
Police said an officer near Garland Avenue and Miller Road saw the Accord approach a red light, activated his lights and sirens to try to warn traffic in the area.
The Accord entered the intersection while the light was red and hit 28-year-old Karla Rico's silver Toyota that was traveling westbound on Miller Road on a green light, police said. The driver of the Accord then struck a second vehicle, a black Honda CRV, that was stopped at the red light in the southbound lanes.
Rico was pronounced dead at the scene and her child, 10-year-old Matthew Santos, was transported to the hospital in critical condition, police said.
"It's a horrible situation. It's the worst-case scenario. This guy was driving so fast, there wasn't a police car behind him at all at the time that he ran through there. So he could have slowed down, but he chose to keep driving at such a high rate of speed," said Barineau.
Santos is being cared for at Medical City Dallas Children’s Hospital. The victim’s dog was also killed in the crash.
His grandfather Carlos Rico told NBC 5 his grandson sustained severe injuries, including to his spine. Mathew is not awake and does not yet know his mother was killed.
“I want to pray for my grandson, pray real hard,” said an emotional Carlos Rico. “My daughter, you know, she passed away. But I say, 'Thank you, God, for the time that she was living.'”
Police said a woman driving the CRV suffered minor injuries and was released at the scene.
According to police, the three occupants of the Accord were also transported to the hospital due to injuries sustained from the crash.
Police said the driver of the Accord, identified as 37-year-old Bobby Lee Murphy, of Oklahoma, remains in the hospital and faces charges, including felony evading arrest causing injury or death.
Garland police policy gives officers some discretion in deciding whether to give chase, depending on the time of day and amount of traffic. For example, policy states officers should not chase anyone in a school zone. The department said officers were not actively pursuing the driver at the time of the crash.
Barineau told NBC 5 the incident happened in less than two minutes.
The investigation into this incident is currently ongoing, police said.