Fort Worth

Suspect Behind Fatal Stockyards Crash Identified, Survivor Speaks Out

A police chase ended in a deadly crash in the Fort Worth Stockyards around 11 a.m. Thursday

A survivor of a deadly crash in the Fort Worth Stockyards is describing the moment a suspected burglar plowed into him, during a police chase that killed one innocent driver and injured four others.

It happened around 11 a.m. Thursday, when the Stockyards was busy with tourists and visitors on foot and in their cars.

Police said 26-year-old Luis Young came racing down North Main Street in a stolen pickup truck and slammed into five cars. He's now charged in connection with the death of a 58-year-old grandmother.

Many would call the Stockyards the heart of Fort Worth and on Thursday, that heart was broken.

"It hurts for me a little bit to know that I was a part of that," Antonio Martinez said.

Martinez is principal of North Side High School. At 11 a.m. Thursday, he had stepped out for a rare lunch break and was stopped at a red light on North Main Street.

"All of a sudden, I just hear this, like an explosion," Martinez said. "In my mind I'm like, 'What is happening,' not knowing that a car was plowing into me from the back."

Martinez blacked out for a moment and came to with an aching neck and a swollen cheek.

"As I walked out of the car, I knew I was going to be OK," Martinez said. "My concern was for the family."

In the car right next to him, he could see that Gaudencia Meza was not moving. She died at the scene. Her husband was rushed to the hospital.

"My kids used to go to school with their kids," said neighbor Donnie Bradley.

Bradley has lived next door to the Mezas for more than 15 years.

"Oh man I just saw her out there yesterday," Bradley said. "Today she's gone, it's terrible."

Meza’s family told NBC 5 she has four children and one young granddaughter, whom she adored. She loved to cook and worked in the cafeteria at Washington Heights Elementary School for close to 20 years.

Bradley can't get over how it happened.

"It's just plain senseless, burglary suspect, driving reckless trying to get away," Bradley said.

Now there are questions about whether police were right to follow that suspect into such a densely populated area.

Martinez doesn't fault the police, but believes they should review their policies.

"I felt like maybe they had some reason to pursue and unfortunately it took someone's life. That is the sad part," Martinez said.

Fort Worth police said they were already in the process of revising their chase policy to make it even stricter.

They will be looking closely at whether the officers in this case followed that policy correctly, including how close they were to the suspect when he entered the busy Stockyards.

Luis Young is now charged with auto theft and evading arrest causing death.

He's expected to face more charges, and he already has a long criminal history, including four burglary charges, four theft charges, assault, evading arrest, and three charges of sexual assault of a child younger than 17 years old.

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