Warrant said Cruz left deadly crash scene because he had no insurance and was scared

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Benigno Salas, 70, lost his life, police said.

Composite image — Joseph Cruz, image from Lubbock Co,. Detention Center. Crash site, 3200 block of East 4th Street (Nexstar/Staff)

LUBBOCK, Texas — An arrest warrant provided new details on a deadly crash that took the life of Benigno Salas, 70.

Police said Salas was on a motorcycle November 16 in the 3200 block of East 4th Street. Police said the motorcycle collided with a car driven by Joseph Cruz, 34. A police report said Cruz drove back to the crash site but then took off. Police called it a hit-and-run.

Cruz was booked early Wednesday into the Lubbock County Detention Center for failure to stop and render aid.

The arrest warrant said police were able to track down surveillance video from businesses. They later found the car, a 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer, in an empty field. The windshield was completely broken out, according to the warrant.

Police found a wallet in the car with ID and credit cards from Cruz. Police found him in Brownfield and asked to talk to him.

A portion of the warrant said:

Joseph Cruz confirmed that he was the driver of the Mitsubishi Lancer located in the field by xxxxx during the crash that occurred on 11/16/2020. Joseph Cruz advised the vehicle belonged to his girlfriend xxxxx xxxxx. Joseph Cruz advised he had just left xxxxx and was heading to Sonic to get a job application. Joseph Cruz advised he had gotten to the intersection of Fourth Street and ldalou Road and was waiting. Joseph Cruz advised he began to turn when a motorcycle hit him. Joseph Cruz advised he got scared due to him not having a license or insurance. Joseph Cruz advised he was aware of the driver on the motorcycle had been injured and even saw him lying on the ground. Joseph Cruz advised he did not know what to do and left without rendering aid.

The warrant did not confirm which vehicle was at fault for the crash. It said Cruz left the scene of a crash that resulted in someone’s death. The charge against Cruz was a second-degree felony.

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