Police in New Braunfels are searching for a man who is responsible for stealing a truck and reportedly causing a deadly crash. The suspect also stole another woman’s car later in the day. The suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Austin Taylor Meade of North Las Vegas, Nevada.
The truck and SUV that ended up against a utility pole next to New Braunfels Fischer Park collided about a hundred yards away.
“At that intersection, the truck still traveling at a very high rate of speed went through the stop sign, didn’t stop at the stop sign and slammed T-bone style into the side of a silver Ford edge, directly hitting the driver side door and killing the driver of that vehicle,” said police spokesperson David Ferguson.
The driver of the SUV is identified as Amber Rachelle Williams of New Braunfels. Debris was scattered across the Roadway in front of Fischer park.The impact was so violent that the battery from the SUV was ripped out and ended up in the roadway.
“Didn’t hear anything, which was surprising because I’m sure that made quite a noise,” said Toby Peters who lives in neighborhood next to the scene.
Peters believes he just missed getting caught up in the collision.
“I guess he just topped the hill and she couldn’t react,” said Peters.
It all started not far away at a New Braunfels apartment complex. New Braunfels police were notified a stolen work truck from a San Antonio business had been tracked to the apartments. But as patrol units arrived Ferguson says the truck sped off at a high rate of speed.
“I think that’s unclear and part of the ongoing investigation about why it is he fled at the moment that he chose to,” said Ferguson.
The crash had already happened by the time patrol units caught up. The man driving the truck, later identified as Meade, was gone.
Meade eventually ended up in a neighborhood a little more than a mile away from the crash scene. Investigators say that he walked away and came across a woman at the park who was there to walk her dog. That woman spoke to Fox 7 Austin News and said she heard the crash and when Meade appeared, he indicated that he had witnessed it. Meade, according to the woman, asked for a ride to another location and later asked to make a phone call. The woman brought him to her house to make the call. Once there she says he became agitated, grabbed a knife in the kitchen and then took her car.
“She seemed to believe that she was helping out somebody who was in trouble, like in distress, doing a good deed and then very quickly realized that it was something else entirely,” said Ferguson.
Police say the suspect may be in a silver 2012 KIA Forte with a pink "On the Grind" sticker in the back windshield. The vehicle has a license plate DT6-R476. He should be considered potentially armed and dangerous.
Crimestoppers has offered a $4,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1 and contact police.