Two children and a mother are recovering after a felon leading police on a high-speed chase in Southwest Oklahoma City crashed into their pickup. The man driving the stolen vehicle was arrested.
Oklahoma City Police said there is evidence the man behind the wheel is a suspected gang member. He also has a lengthy arrest record with the department. Police said he was driving a stolen car when he refused to pull over.
The police chase only lasted about a minute before 24-year-old Eric Smith blew through a stop sign near Southwest 22nd and McKinley and hit Luis Bermudez's family.
An affidavit said Smith was driving 60 miles per hour in the 25 miles per hour zone.
“They could’ve killed my family. I still have chills when I remember,” said Bermudez.
Luis was just down the street when it happened last Friday, showing up within minutes to see his truck had been crushed and rolled, with his wife and two kids inside.
“I was very scared by looking at the truck how it was,” he said.
His wife has neck and back injuries and bruises all over. And he said his son and daughter are also still healing, physically and emotionally.
“They did absolutely nothing wrong – just in the wrong place at the wrong time and because somebody chose to do the wrong thing, to be driving a stolen vehicle and not stop for police. He crashed into them and now their life has been turned upside down,” said Officer Travis Vernier.
The family does not have health insurance and their auto coverage will not replace the truck.
Luis said they will take this day by day, but he is just so glad his wife and kids are alive.
“The material things I don’t care about. All my family could be gone by now, but thank God they’re still with me,” he said.