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Police chase involving suspected car thieves ends in crash

Posted: 5:54 PM, Sep 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-09 18:57:41-04

LAMPASAS COUNTY, TX — A police chase in Lampasas ended with two suspects being flown to the hospital after officers received a tip about a stolen vehicle parked at the local Walmart and went to check it out.

On Monday at 10:15 a.m., Lampasas police received a call from OnStar of General Motors that a customer's vehicle recently reported stolen in Killeen had shown up on the GPS and now appeared to be at a Walmart in Lampasas.

Officers responded to the scene where they found the white 2017 Chevrolet Equinox parked and unoccupied. After determining the vehicle was stolen, another citizen pointed out a 2015 Black Kia Soul that had been parked near the Equinox and told police its occupants were acting "suspicious."

The officers followed the Kia, whose driver then accelerated heavily out of the parking lot and fled on US Highway 190. As officers pursued the vehicle and checked the plates, they discovered the Kia had also been reported stolen.

Police pursued the vehicle until speeds reach 115 mph, said officials. At the Lampasas River Bridge one mile west of Kempner, a DPS Trooper deployed a tire deflation device and the Kia struck it, deflating one or more of its tires, said officials. But the driver continued going until it attempted to pass traffic stopped at a red light at FM 2313 and eventually ran into a truck.

The Kia struck a tractor-trailer with a dump bed that was driving south on FM 2313. Police say the truck driver was turning west and the Kia hit the trucks' lodging underneath and against the rear wheels and tires, causing "extensive damage to both vehicles."

Police say both men received extensive injuries in the crash, and Baylor Scott and White and Air Evac helicopters took each suspect to Scott and White Hospital in Temple. The driver of the truck was not injured.

The driver of the Kia has been identified as Damion Justin Altamirando, 19, of Killeen. Police say Altamirando was in possession of suspected methamphetamine. The passenger was identified as Terrence Eric Rashad Craven, 23, of Killeen and and police said he had suspected marijuana on him. Craven also has an active warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in Williamson County, according to officials.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene. The Kempner Volunteer Fire Department and Lampasas Fire Department conducted rescue operations. Acadian Ambulance Service assisted. The Kempner Police Chief Jesse Cerda investigated the accident, and the Lampasas County Sheriff’s Department conducted traffic control. The Texas Department of Transportation also assisted at the scene.

Lampasas PD has "tentatively determined" the suspects brought the stolen vehicles to the Lampasas WalMart. Lampasas PD is still working with Killeen Police Department’s Investigation’s division to determine the motive, said officials.

Lampasas PD say they have consulted with the County Attorney’s Office and charges are anticipated once the suspects are released from the hospital.