San Marcos Police Pursuit Ends in Fiery Crash
The footage (embedded above) shows a drunk driver, later identified as 39-year-old Fabien Hernandez, speeding ahead of pursuing officers through a residential neighborhood before slamming into a roundabout. The impact caused Herandez’s pickup truck to burst into flames, killing him and a passenger, 43-year-old Charles Lee Crayton.
According to San Marcos Police Assistant Chief Chase Stapp, the pursuit reached speeds as high as 78 mph before Hernandez crashed.
Reacting to criticism of the department’s policies regarding pursuits, Stapp told KEYE-TV, “Pursuits are not something we want to do, it's something that we had to do in some cases. We have to weigh risks involved versus the need to catch the person.”
“Intoxicated drivers do pose a pretty serious threat to the public and to themselves" he continued. "When [officers] weigh the need to stop a potential drunk driver versus the risks that really wasn't present at the time, it was the right thing to do I think to continue the pursuit.”
The incident occurred less than two months after another chase involving San Marcus police ended in the death of a suspect.