A Florida truck driver suspected of causing a hit and run crash that killed two people in Texas was nabbed by Border Patrol agents in El Paso yesterday.
The fatal crash occurred just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, on I-20 close to Farm-to-Market Road 1788 in Midland County, Texas.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 48 year old Florida-based truck driver Jose Gilvane Oliveira Baldassari was traveling east on I-20 when he failed to slow for traffic backed up by a previous crash. Baldassari reportedly caused a chain reaction crash with four other vehicles including a pickup and another semi truck.
Both occupants of the pickup truck, Ricardo N. Silva-Martinez, 27, and Bladimir V. Rodriguez, 43, died in the crash. Another woman was transported to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries sustained in the crash.
According to a report in MRT, Baldassari fled the crash scene on foot.
On Thursday, July 12 at approximately 2:20 a.m., Border Patrol agents spotted Baldassari walking along Highway 20 just six miles from the Marcelino Serena Port of Entry. He was about 250 miles away from the crash site. Baldassari was reportedly looking for transportation into Mexico at the time of his arrest.
Baldassari was initially taken into custody for possible immigration violations but after police ran his information through databases, they discovered that he was wanted on two counts of manslaughter for the hit and run crash.
Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter admonished Baldassari for fleeing the scene of the fatal crash: “He’s a dang fool for running. It’s going to haunt him and will go against him. It’s not going to be in his favor.”