Witness Recalls Deadly I-10 Mesa Crash

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POSTED: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 11:25am

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 8:33pm

EL PASO- Police say Jose Vasquez, 45 of Anthony, New Mexico was the driver of a pickup truck that entered the freeway headed the wrong direction.

We don't know why Vasquez drove the wrong way, but a witness exiting at Mesa says Vasquez looked him in the eye and accelerated.

Rick Guerrero recalls the frightening moments before the crash. He returned to the scene on Monday playing through the moments he will never forget.

"I was sending a text message in the passenger seat and I looked up briefly and saw a car coming in our direction,” Guerrero said. "It made me sick to my stomach. It took hours, you know several hours to kind of become normal after seeing that. I just feel horrible for the people involved, you know innocent people.”

Guerrero says the most frightening part was when he made eye contact with Vasquez, and Vasquez didn't seem to slow down.

"As weird as it sounds, you know I did. I looked right at him as he passed. He had both hands on the wheel, and he was just, he was just going for it,” said Guerrero.

El Paso police say Vasquez was killed when he hit 4 vehicles while heading east on the westbound lanes. Also killed was 22-year-old Jose Licano-Rodgriguez of Las Cruces. Guerrero may have escaped without injury, but the site of the crash still haunts him. He is counting his blessings.

"If we had we been 30-40 seconds later. We could have been more involved with it. We were already over on the slower lanes to exit, and I don't know which lane he ended up getting into, but I am fortunate we left where we left from at the time we did.

There are other victims in this accident. Three adults, two of which were drivers and a passenger. All are expected to be okay.

El Paso police suspect the pickup driver was drunk when he charged up the Mesa exit ramp. They also tell us the FBI has joined the investigation.

Comments News Comments

JJ yes this was a real tragic event, but you falsely accuse the wrong people. I am not involved with the police in any way other than the place I work at, which happens to be a place where they do serve alcohol. We are aware with the incidents that you are sing as examples. If it angers you then protest those but blaming others for this event is wrong. If that is the case then tell me JJ, what future tragic event should the police be preventing? Where should they be to stop the next person?

Tell me the location and a specific time. I will make sure an officer is at the location.

1. This is a personal fault issue. Unfortunately, what we do personally sometimes effects others.
2. Most people, including drunks, agree that one should never drink and drive. The thing is they are not the same people after a few drinks. They totally transform into someone else who thinks otherwise. They are caught up in the moment and are not thinking. THAT is the problem.

Jose Licano Rodriguez was a Corpsman in the US NAVY. He was a good sailor and Im honored to have served along side him, RIP shipmate.

This problem will never stop and will only progress as long as there is no or little fear in getting caught for DWI and for other traffic violations. People are too aggressive and no longer have the fear of being stopped by the police. The police want the pay and the grant overtime and will cry when terminated because they want to sit around while on duty and falsify time sheets instead of putting in an honest days work. Just ask former EPPD Sgt Lou Ortiz and the 14 other fools that were fired.

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