Driver arrested near border after fleeing from fatal 5-vehicle crash in Midland Co.

State & Regional
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A hit-and-run suspect was in jail Thursday for his involvement in a five-vehicle collision that killed two people Tuesday in Midland County, police said.

Jose Baldassari, 48, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of manslaughter.

The Department of Public Safety said Baldassari was driving a tractor-trailer eastbound on I-20. A prior accident caused traffic to back up.

DPS said Baldassari failed to control his speed, hitting a pickup truck and causing a five-vehicle chain reaction.

Ricardo Silva-Martinez, 27, and Bladimir Rodriguez, 43, were killed when Baldassari struck their truck, according to DPS.

Baldassari fled, but his wallet was found on scene.

DPS officials say around 2:20 a.m. Thursday, Baldassari was found walking on Texas 20 near Silverman road, about six miles east of Macelino Serna Port of Entry in El Paso County. 

U.S. Border Patrol agents spoke with Baldassari and eventually took him into custody on immigration violations, DPS said.

At the Border Patrol station, officers reportedly used Baldassari’s biometric information and learned he had the manslaughter warrants out of Midland County.

(Information from

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