Pictured: DPS officials put Roberto Ramirez in handcuffs after he tried to flee from officers in a short pursuit on Highway 44 that ended up with a car and truck being side-swiped and Ramirez's car rolled over Friday afternoon. Debris from Ramirez's car littered the roadway. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Short pursuit ends with a crash

Ramirez hit two cars before rolling his on East Hwy. 44

Ofelia Garcia Hunter

Alice Echo-News Journal

A man attempted to flee from officers on foot Friday after side-swiping two cars with his vehicle and rolling his vehicle on Highway 44, the Department of Public Safety officials said.

According to officials, the man had a woman passenger and two children in his blue Cadillac.

"The little kid was in the back seat and I pulled him out," said Amanda Munoz, a passenger in one of the vehicle's that was hit.

The driver was identified as Roberto Ramirez Jr, 25, his passenger was Gracie Villanueva, 24, and her children riding in the back seat were Ricardo Gomez and Christopher Gomez, both two years old, officials said.

According to DPS officials, Ramirez was being stopped for a seatbelt violation at about 4 p.m. Friday as he was traveling eastbound on Highway 44. He crossed over and was then coming back westbound on Highway 44 near the Holiday Express Inn when he came to a stop.

As DPS troopers approached the blue Cadillac he was driving, Ramirez sped away at a high rate of speed.

"We pulled him over and we got off of our car," DPS Trooper Frank Rios said. "As soon as we reached the edge of his car, he gunned it."

That was when Ramirez made his escape and a short pursuit started.

Ramirez in the process, nicked a white Cougar on the passenger front end with his Cadillac and struck a white F-150 Ford on its driver side back end and tire.

After hitting the truck, Ramirez's Cadillac went air borne and landed on its roof, skidding several feet before coming to a rest in front of Bradfords Motor Cars on Highway 44.

"As he got out of his vehicle, he tried to run," Rios said.

Rios said it was unknown why Ramirez tried to flee from officers. Rios captured Ramirez and he was placed in handcuffs.

Debris of clothes, boots, a rim along with broken taillights and mirrors were scattered throughout the highway.

DPS officials said Ramirez was released from a halfway house that assists individuals coping with substance abuse on Friday morning.

Officials said alcohol could have played a role, and sobriety tests would be conducted.

Ramirez was flown by HALO-Flight to a Corpus Christi hospital and Villanueva and her children were taken to the Alice hospital by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the truck, Daila Mendez, and her two children were also taken to the Alice hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Cougar, Veronica Solano, and her passenger Munoz were transported to the Alice hospital with what seemed to be non-life threatening injuries, officials said.

Alice Police Department, Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department and Guardian EMS assisted at the scene.

The accident is under investigation, officials said.