AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police made an arrest Friday in connection with a deadly hit-and-run crash late Wednesday night on Bluff Springs Road.
Jorge Luis Lopez-Dominguez has been charged with two second-degree felonies, racing on a highway and failure to stop and render aid. He is in Travis County Jail.
Austin Police say street racing led to the deadly, two-car crash in southeast Austin.
One of the drivers, 18-year-old Fabian Morales, was taken to the hospital where he later died, according to Austin Police Department.
The crash happened around 11:19 p.m. in the 7500 block of Bluff Springs Road. That’s east of I-35 just south of East William Cannon Drive.
APD says that a car and truck were racing, with the truck in the left lane heading northbound and the car in the right lane. Reportedly, the car was further ahead and made a wide right turn into the starting point, a driveway.
Then, APD says, the truck hit the car on the driver’s side and the car went into oncoming traffic before ultimately coming to rest on a light pole.
“The preliminary investigation shows that the cause of the collision was likely because the two vehicles were racing one another up and down Bluff Springs here,” APD officer Michael Bullock said.
Police blocked off Bluff Springs Road for most of the morning Thursday trying to recreate the scene to determine how fast the car and truck were going when they crashed.
“They take a great amount of time marking the scene and taking measurements in order to figure out what speeds they might’ve been going,” Bullock said.
Neighbors came out to tell police that racing in that area is not uncommon.
“We did have multiple residents come up and talk to us saying that racing has occurred up and down this street before,” Bullock said.
Police say Luis Lopez Dominguez is expected to face felony charges of failure to stop and render aid and racing.
A Community Mourns
Morales’ friends said they are heartbroken. Dozens of cars lined the street of Bluff Springs Road on Thursday night. At least one hundred people brought candles and flowers to the scene of the crash to mourn their friend.
“There’s family thinking that they are going to come back home and they don’t show up anymore. Or when they wake up, they are not going to see that person anymore. It’s sad. And it’s really scary,” said Briana Delarosa.
Alejandro Olivo organized the vigil. He was not at the race, but said he was the first person to tell Morales’ parents.
“First thing that came to my mind was to go and get his parents,” Olivo said. “They were heartbroken.”
Olivo and Morales used to live down the street from one another. He said Morales was loyal and a good friend.
“I would help him out with anything and he would help me out with anything,” Olivo said.
Morales was said to be a car enthusiast and had lofty goals for his red Infiniti. He often spoke of his goals for souping it up. His friends said they didn’t know if he had street raced before.
“They were just racing,” said another friend, Juan Saucedo Moreno. “No one knew that was going to happen.”
Julianne Ortegon has lived on Bluff Springs Road for five years. The crash on Wednesday night ended up on her front lawn.
“The amount of racing I hear going on, it’s all night. It’s super loud,” said Ortegon.
The speeds of the cars traveling and the recklessness of drivers concerns her. A mother to a four-year-old daughter, she said she does not let her daughter play outside without her.
“I see people with little childrent rying to cross the street here all the time and these cars are going so fast,” said Ortegon. “I can’t let my kid play in half of my yard because of it.”
Ortegon said she’s seen a handful of wrecks and animals killed. She said she’s also seen two people get hit by cars.
She wants to put a crosswalk on Bluff Springs. She thinks it will slow down traffic and also make pedestrians safer, especially those who like to eat at a nearby food truck.