The situation started when an officer tried to stop a wrong-way driver along the Marsha Sharp Freeway. The driver, later identified as Jimmy Lopez, 29, kept driving, police said. The pursuit ended with a head-on crash in the 100 block of Parkway Drive.
Lopez was pronounced dead at the crash site, LPD said. Two people from the other vehicle suffered serious injuries, while two others suffered moderate injuries.
On Monday afternoon, Lieutenant Brady Cross said if officers had been able to stop the driver, he would not be free to leave, and therefore LPD categorized the situation as an “in-custody” death. (Use the video player above to watch a portion of an update from Lieutenant Cross)
The following is a press release from LPD.
Major Crash Unit Investigating Two-Vehicle Collision resulting in In-Custody Death
(LUBBOCK, TX) – The Lubbock Police Department’s Major Crash Unit is investigating a two- vehicle collision which occurred early Monday morning in the 100 block of Parkway Drive, resulting in an in-custody death.
Lubbock Police were called at 12:10 a.m. for reports of a wrong-way driver on Marsha Sharp Freeway near Upland Avenue. The vehicle, a passenger car, driven by 29-year-old Jimmy Lopez, was reported to be traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Marsha Sharp Freeway.
Shortly after the initial call to LPD Dispatch, an off-duty officer who had just gone out-of-service, witnessed the vehicle traveling east in the westbound lanes of Marsha Sharp Freeway. As the officer saw the approaching vehicle, she activated her lights and sirens in an attempt to get the driver’s attention. After notifying dispatch at 12:14 a.m., the officer exited at West Loop 289, and re-entered Marsha Sharp Freeway in the eastbound lanes of traffic in an attempt to stop the passenger car. Lopez continued to travel east.
Additional officers in the area responded from both directions of Marsha Sharp Freeway to assist the initial officer. While responding, officers were working to position themselves to deploy measures to stop the vehicle.
Before officers were able to enact those measures, at 12:21 a.m. Lopez collided into an SUV traveling west in the westbound lanes of the 100 block of Parkway Drive. The SUV was driven by 34-year-old Valce Parks III.
Lopez was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The SUV was occupied by 31-year-old Jawanna Washington in the front passenger seat, a 14-year-old female, an eight year-old male and a seven year-old female in the back seat.
Parks and the eight-year-old male were transported to University Medical Center via ambulance with serious injuries. Washington was transported to UMC with minor injuries, while the 14-year-old female and the seven-year-old female were also transported via ambulance to UMC with moderate injuries.
The investigation is on-going.