A little 3-year-old boy is now completely alone in the world thanks to a tragic chain reaction of events that he had absolutely nothing to do with. The boy, Jesus Ortiz, was riding in a vehicle with his parents and four siblings when they were hit by another car. That car was stolen. It was driven by an 18-year-old man named Hector Ramirez. Why was Hector speeding through traffic to the point where he careened through an intersection and smashed into another vehicle and killed two parents and four young children?
He was trying to outrun police, who were reportedly chasing him because the pickup he was driving was stolen. A stolen car. Now six people dead. And a child orphaned.
Dead are virtually every member of the Ortiz family, who were on their way back from a doctor's visit near Mission, Texas. Gone are four children ranging in age from 1 to 6 years old. Little 3-year-old Jesus miraculously survived. But he's an orphan in the world now, though reports say that his grandmother in Mexico will take care of him.
Details leading up to the crash are still being investigated, but reportedly the driver of the car that killed the Ortiz family was trying to outrun cops. The driver reportedly "blasted" through an intersection and hit three cars, including the one that held the Ortiz family.
Two other cars were involved in the crash, including one that contained a mother and her 8-year-old and 5-year-old children. They are in stable condition.
Why the police were involved in a high speed chase involving a stolen car is being investigated, but it seems like someone dropped the ball here. Why engage in such a dangerous pursuit for a stolen vehicle? Maybe all of the facts haven't come out yet, but that seems like a huge risk to take for a relatively minor crime. Was a warrant out for the driver for some other crime? What?
Police not only need to consider catching the bad guys, but they also need to consider the safety of the public when they're doing the catching. Of course, they had no idea that he would run through an intersection, but if you are chasing a car that isn't stopping and is traveling at a very high rate of speed and there are other cars around ... well, these things don't always end like they do in the movies, with the bad guy caught and every other car on the road that gets smashed around resulting in no casualties or injuries.
What about other options? Like a road block or spike strip?
Of course, I was not in the car with the police and don't know why they made the decision they made. Police are just human beings and they are under tremendous pressure to make life or death decisions on the spur of the moment. I'm sure they are absolutely gutted and sickened over what happened.
A tragedy all the way around. I hope like hell that Ramirez doesn't get the slap on the wrist that often accompanies vehicular manslaughter.
Do you think the police should have stopped chasing?
Image via ABC News