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Traffic Incident at 3454 North Beltway 8

December 14, 2006 -- Charges are pending against a suspect in a fatal traffic accident at 3454 North Beltway 8 east about 4:10 p.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 13).

The suspect, Johnny Ruiz (H/m, DOB: 11-11-81), is in custody and faces undetermined charges at this time.

One child died and two others were injured in the accident. The deceased victim is identified as Ruiz's son, Johnny Ruiz Jr., 2, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The two other injured children are identified as the suspect's daughter, Marissa Ruiz, 2, and the suspect's brother, Jose Ruiz, 10. The two injured children were transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

HPD Mobility Incident Management Division Sergeant W.R. Cumbess and Officers J. Tippy and R. Brieding reported:

According to witnesses, a white Mazda Millenia was traveling eastbound on the North Beltway feeder road at a high rate of speed when it drove off the road across the median, striking a metal guardrail. The Mazda then went airborne and caught on fire. The vehicle landed on the front end of a tan Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck, ejecting Marissa Ruiz from the Mazda. The Mazda then struck a white Chevrolet 1500 pickup and a white Nissan pickup, before it came to a stop against a concrete barrier.

Suspect Ruiz ran into the street to pick up Marissa and carry her off the roadway. Jose Ruiz, the front passenger of the Mazda, managed to get out of the vehicle and was transported by paramedics to the hospital. Marissa sustained cuts to her head, face and left arm. She also had abrasions to her stomach and was taken by Life Flight helicopter to the hospital. Johnny Ruiz Jr. was trapped inside the burning vehicle and died at the scene.

The Harris County District Attorney's office is waiting for the outcome of mandatory blood results on Ruiz to determine what charges to file against him. The investigation is continuing.

JGA/JFC 12-14-06
Inc# 191515806

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.