What to Know
- Driver taken into custody after a two-hour police standoff inside tractor-trailer along eastbound I-30 in Arlington.
- One car catches fire after being pinned between the flatbed trailer and the highway retaining wall. Several cars struck during chase.
- The truck belongs to Pesado Transport of Socorro, Texas, and was hauling large sheets of copper that were strewn along I-30.
The driver of a flatbed tractor-trailer who held police at bay following a multi-city chase that ended with a fiery crash and hourslong standoff Friday along Interstate 30 has been booked into the Tarrant County Jail.
Jose Luis Cano Olivas, 35, faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest in a vehicle.
The chase started in western Fort Worth at about 12:30 p.m. and ended 20 minutes later approximately 17 miles away in Arlington when the truck crashed and came to rest beneath the Cooper Street overpass.
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The standoff ended with police taking Olivas into custody at about 3:30 p.m.
Police Chase Ends in Fiery Crash Involving Several Vehicles in Arlington
Westbound lanes of Interstate 30 were back open soon after the standoff ended. However, the eastbound lanes were closed until about 8 p.m. as crews continued clearing debris from the shoulder.
Police and medics were seen tending to Olivas and placing a bandage on his head shortly after the standoff ended. He was then placed on a stretcher and taken from the scene in an ambulance.
An update from the scene at I-30 and Cooper Street. I-30 eastbound remains closed at Cooper. pic.twitter.com/LdJlHgOs1r— Arlington Police, TX (@ArlingtonPD) June 9, 2017
Officials said Olivas had been booked into jail shortly before 10 p.m.
Fort Worth police said officers tried to stop the tractor-trailer after the driver hit several vehicles on Interstate 30 near Montgomery Street, but the driver refused to pull over and instead led officers on a chase through downtown and east into Arlington, sometimes hitting speeds of 100 mph.
The driver hit several cars along Interstate 30 before the final crash in Arlington at about 12:45 p.m.
That crash involved at least two additional vehicles, including one that caught fire after becoming pinned between the flatbed trailer and the highway retaining wall. Fort Worth police said the driver of the pinned car was able to escape the damaged vehicle and was hospitalized for injuries that were not life-threatening. A second person from a vehicle struck by the tractor-trailer was taken to a hospital for treatment of a minor neck injury.
With the truck disabled, Arlington and Fort Worth police officers took a defensive position behind a concrete barrier and pointed their guns toward the tractor while awaiting SWAT officers to arrive and negotiate the driver's surrender.
Arlington SWAT arrived at the scene at about 1:40 p.m. About an hour later, as SWAT continued to negotiate with the driver, a sniper team took up a position on the Cooper Street bridge overlooking the cab of the truck. From behind a ballistic shield, SWAT officers set up a high-powered rifle pointed directly into the truck's cab.
After more than an hour of negotiations, officers broke through the windshield and removed the windshield from the cab. A short time later, the man was taken into custody.
"It was like a movie," said Tamer Awad, who watched the drama unfold from the sidewalk alongside I-30. "This guy, I don't know what he was thinking. I don't think he was in his right mind."
Fort Worth police said early on that there appeared to be a woman in the cab of the truck, though Arlington police later confirmed the driver was the only person inside.[[427496463,R]]
According to the Fort Worth Police Department, the truck spilled its load of copper when it collided with the highway retaining wall.
"Maybe that's why he stole it, because he wanted to get the copper," said Cameron Miller as he watched investigators. "It's not worth that. Copper is nothing compared to these lives out there."
A MedStar EMS spokesman said there were at least five cars with damage from the speeding tractor-trailer, and paramedics treated a dozen people from those crashes, although only two were transported.
Delton Vaughn told NBC 5 he was driving along Interstate 30 when he was hit by the truck as it passed.
"The truck came up from up behind me and I saw it in the rear-view mirror, and then the next thing I know the trailer comes across, cuts across and side swipes my car and started going eastbound towards Dallas," Vaughn said.
Juan Ramirez and his family are in town from San Angelo to celebrate his daughter's birthday at Six Flags Over Texas. They were on their way to the park when the tractor-trailer rear-ended them.
The family of six is fine and all walked away with no injuries. His son, Dominic, also told NBC 5 he was sitting behind the passenger seat playing with his sister when they felt the impact. He said he just held on to his sister and closed his eyes.
"All of a sudden I just felt an impact from the backside, and the next thing I know we're riding the wall," Juan Ramirez said. "The trailer of the semi has us pinned against the wall. I was able to keep the vehicle in the lane, luckily, and as it pinned us against the wall, we rode it for a little bit, straightened us out. As we came to a stop, it just kept going."
Barbara Mays was a witness to the end of the chase. She was approaching the Cooper Street exit when the tractor-trailer sped past her with police in pursuit. She said moments later she heard a "boom" and then started to see smoke.
The truck is owned by Pesado Transport, of Socorro, Texas. Owner Javier Rodriguez told NBC 5 the truck is his, though he was trying to figure out what was happening.
"I'm getting a thousand calls. We're trying to figure it out right now," Rodriguez said.
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