UPDATE: Police identify teen driver killed in rollover
POSTED: Monday, April 29, 2013 - 11:30am
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 7:39am
Brother survives accident with non-life threatening injuries
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — Police identified the victims involved in a deadly rollover crash that left one teenager dead early Monday morning. Erick Gutierrez, 19, died at the scene single-vehicle crash in East El Paso. His brother, Jorge Gutierrez was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
It was about 1:15 a.m. when a grey SUV was traveling on Gateway East near Airway Boulevard and the Gutierrez (Erick) lost control. The SUV rolled several times before hitting a gas meter, which sent natural gas spewing into the air.
The SUV landed upside down in a nearby parking lot near Hawkins, across the street from Cielo Vista Mall.
"I was coming westbound on I-10 and I saw a big puff of smoke. I saw the front of the SUV dig into the ground and start flipping over and over, then I saw it come to a rest," said Ted Bauer, a witness.
Several witnesses at the scene said they saw people were trapped inside the car. About four to five people stopped to try to pull the victims to safety before paramedics arrived.
Robert Hyatt was one of the people who rushed over to help.
"I did see one hand come out and I did hear some screaming. I wasn't sure how many folks were in the car. I kind of guessed two because I saw what I thought was a figure on the passenger side, but I wasn't really sure," said Hyatt.
During the rescue efforts, natural gas continued to spew into the air, creating dangerous conditions for the people inside the car, as well as those trying to pull them out.
"As I was going by, I heard a whole bunch of loud noise, a loud hissing noise and I found out they hit a gas main," said Bauer.
"As soon as I got out of my vehicle, I heard the gas spraying and I got a little bit worried. There were folks walking around the car, I just wanted to go lend a hand. We tried what we could. You could smell the gas, it was a pretty overwhelming smell," said Hyatt.
There was another accident along Gateway East and Airway involving a wrong-way driver that happened about the same time as the rollover. However, police have not confirmed if the two are related.
Police said this is the 10th traffic fatality of 2013 compared to 17 at this same time in 2012