18-wheeler chase ends in fiery crash, standoff in Arlington
ARLINGTON, Texas - A man is in custody after leading Fort Worth police on a chase in an 18-wheeler that ended with a fiery crash and standoff in Arlington.
Police said officers tried to pull over a speeding 18-wheeler near Beach Street around 1 p.m. Friday after the driver wouldn’t stop.
Police initially said the driver was a woman, but later determined it was a man and did not find a woman inside the vehicle. He has been identified as 35-year-old Jose Luis Cano Olivas.
Officers chased the possibly stolen truck at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour along eastbound Interstate 30. The truck sideswiped or hit multiple vehicles near Beach Street, Oaklawn Boulevard and Cooks Lane, officials said.
The truck ended up crashing near Cooper Street. Video from SKY 4 showed parts of the truck’s load smoldering along the highway and another smashed, burned vehicle.
Officers had their guns drawn in the direction of the 18-wheeler and SWAT vehicles pulled up alongside it after the man barricaded himself in the back of the truck's cab.
While under observation using a remote-controlled camera, police say the suspect was "acting erratically." After not seeing a weapon in sight, SWAT moved into the truck and pulled the suspect out. He was taken into custody without a struggle around 3:30 p.m. after a two and a half hour standoff and sent to a hospital.
Olivas was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. It's unclear if he was injured in the crash. It's likely that police are doing a blood draw to check if he was under the influence before he is taken to jail.
Fort Worth police say the driver that was in the burnt vehicle behind the semi was able to escape and get to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
MedStar officials said there were eight to 12 people involved in the earlier accidents but none were seriously injured.
Truck driver Robert Saxton was one of the persons hit by the runaway semi.
"He just started banging me, shoved me all the way into the dirt," he recalled. "There was a big pole or upright or sign and all I saw was that, so I started pushing him back and he just kept bouncing me. Next thing I know, still got rubber in the front of the grill in my truck from his tire."
Saxton is just thankful he and his dog, Gadget, are okay.
"I just figure the Good Lord was looking after me," he said. "It could have been worse."
Aaron Roland was on the scene while the crash happened. He described how he saw the event unfolded.
“I was eating lunch and I just heard a crash,” Roland said. “So I went over there and I didn’t know what was going on. I just saw a bunch of debris and a truck that got smashed up behind that semi. And I keep watching it and come to find out that it’s a high-speed chase.”
Roland initially noticed the chase by the loud noise of the crash.
“It was just a loud bang like an explosion, like a transformer went off,” he said.
Roland saw wreckage when he made his way over to the scene but didn't see anyone exit the vehicle.
“I saw the truck when it was on fire,” he said. “It blew and it went everywhere.”
Dozens of onlookers lined the highway. Police warned them to stay away.
The semi belonged to an El Paso trucking company. But it's unclear if Olivas worked for the company or what his motive was in trying to outrun police.
The driver is charged with evading an officer and several counts of aggravated assault, one for every car he hit along the chase.