Laredo, TX Three Truck Collision, Mar 1994


Laredo - (AP) - Law enforcement authorities Monday were still investigating a devastating three-pickup crash, that claimed eight lives this weekend, including a family of five.
A driver speeding as fast as 100 mph swerved across a highway Saturday night and slammed into two pickups, killing himself, a married couple and the family, authorities said.
According to The Laredo Morning Times, Webb County sheriff's deputies may have been chasing the driver of the speeding pickup, who has yet to be identified.
The high-speed pursuit may have lasted some 35 miles.
According to a report released by the Border Patrol Monday, the incident apparently began about 8:30 p.m. Saturday when the pickup truck approached a border patrol checkpoint eastbound on Texas 359, about 40 miles east of Laredo. Only the truck's parking lights were on, said Alfonso Moreno, supervisory intelligence agent for the Border Patrol in Laredo.
Before the truck reached the inspection area, it suddenly made a U-turn and headed back west toward Oilton, Moreno said.
An agent in a marked car caught up with the vehicle just west of Oilton and notified the Webb County Sheriff's Department of the license plate numbers, he said.
The agent then ended any attempt to stop the vehicle about three miles east of Aguilares, some 25 miles from Laredo.
"It was going at a high rate of speed and I believe it was weaving also, driving erratically," he said of the truck.
Authorities said the driver apparently lost control shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday.
His pickup crossed the center line of Texas 359 about five miles east of Laredo
35 miles from the checkpoint and rammed head-on into an eastbound pickup carrying five members of the RANGEL family of Bruni.
Sheriff's Deputy Ruben Garza, who witnessed the accident, said the two vehicles became airborne and struck a third pickup truck that was parked on the eastbound side of highway.
The vehicles exploded, throwing out flames that made rescue of the victims impossible, witnesses said.
The five family members killed were identified as JORGE JAVIER RANGEL, SR., his wife, GAITIANA, and their children, LEONOR, 12, JORGE JAVIER, 10, and ROEL, 8.
The victims in the parked pickup were identified as HILARIO QUINTANILLA, JR., 23, and his wife, GLORIA, 25, of Rio Bravo.

The Galveston Daily News Texas 1994-07-06