WACO, TX — The Waco Police Department is asking for the public's help in finding a driver who allegedly struck a pedestrian on Arroyo Road while evading police early Sunday morning.
“We have obtained arrest warrants for the individual who was driving the vehicle,” said Waco Police Chief Frank Gentsch. “This was a tragic situation, and our thoughts are with the victim, her family and friends."
Around midnight, Waco PD says officers were patrolling the area of N. Valley Mills Dr for speeders. The department has reportedly continually received complaints of speeders and racers on Valley Mills Dr. nearly every weekend.
While patrolling, an officer located a suspected drunk driver in a black Chevrolet Silverado traveling at a high rate of speed. The suspect turned northbound on Wooded Acres Drive.
The officer activated his siren on Wooded Acres, but the suspect vehicle continued northbound. The driver attempted to flee from the officer, who then initiated a pursuit near the intersection of Wooded Acres and Bosque.
Ultimately, the suspect continued to the intersection of Wooded Acres and Bishop then immediately turned left onto Arroyo where they struck a pedestrian. She was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
Police say the driver fled the scene on foot while a passenger remained at the scene. The passenger was reportedly cooperative with officers for the most part.
The driver has been identified as 18-year-old Oscar Valentin Lopez. He is wanted for:
- Aggravated assault-2nd degree felony
- Failure to Stop and Render Aid-3rd degree felony
- Evading in a Motor Vehicle-3rd degree felony
“The officer had been instructed to terminate the pursuit,” said Chief Gentsch. “In a time frame of less than 15 seconds after that order, the officer observed the truck first spin out at Bishop and Wooded Acres and the officer continued to that location. When the officer arrived at that location, he found the truck had continued and turned onto Arroyo. During that brief period, the officer had not yet deactivated his vehicle’s lights and siren.”
“Our department is reviewing this incident to determine whether there were any violations of department policy,” said Chief Gentsch. “In the meantime, we are working diligently to take the individual who caused this tragic accident into custody.”