Former Vancouver man said he drank 10 beers before fatal wrong-way crash in Texas
Originally published March 29, 2011 at 7:11 a.m., updated March 29, 2011 at 8:53 p.m.
A man who recently moved from Vancouver was identified as the driver in a wrong-way crash on a Texas highway Monday that triggered a tanker truck’s explosion, leaving one man dead.
Fort Worth, Texas police arrested Louis Nieves, 23, on suspicion of intoxication manslaughter. He is being held in the Mansfield Jail after being treated for his injuries.
Police said Nieves was driving a small red pickup truck eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 30 at Beach Street at about 2:30 a.m. when he slammed into a gasoline tanker.
It was only minutes after police started getting frantic calls about the wrong-way driver that Nieves hit Alejandro Raya’s tanker truck, according to multiple reports.
Flames ripped through the cab of the truck and Raya, 45, was unable to escape. He leaves behind a wife and three children.
Nieves told news reporters in Dallas that he drank about 10 beers before the crash. He said from his jail cell he doesn’t remember the crash, but he’ll never forget the aftermath, according to reports.
“Well, I’m really sorry,” Nieves was quoted. “I know I committed an accident, a real bad accident. … I feel sorry for that family that lost that person.”
Hazardous materials teams worked to contain the gasoline, while Texas Department of Transportation crews investigated the stability and safety of I-30 westbound lanes, according to reports.
The crash and explosion closed I-30 for much of the day. Several lanes of the roadway sustained damage and will require extensive repairs.
Nieves, according to reports, moved to Texas to fulfill his dream of opening a restaurant.