Video shows 2-year-old boy thrown from car during crash with red light-running truck

Luke Jones Image
Friday, February 9, 2024
2-year-old boy alive after red light-running truck ejects him from car
Two-year-old Juan Suarez remains hospitalized after a driver blew through a red light and hit him and his great-grandmother's car on Hirsch Road.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 2-year-old boy is still in the hospital with brain injuries after being ejected from a vehicle more than a week ago, his family said.

Juan Suarez's great-grandmother drove him home along Hirsch Road in northeast Houston on the morning of Jan. 30.

A surveillance video obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News shows that when they reached the intersection with Laura Koppe Road, a white pickup truck ran a red light and slammed into the family's car.

The boy's family said he went flying into a ditch, although it's difficult to make out in the video.

"I was like, 'Oh, my God. Please. Just let him, let him be able to make it. Let him be able to make it,'" Michelle Hernandez, Juan's mother, said.

Hernandez said her son was treated for brain injuries and a broken arm. He got out of the intensive care unit this week but will likely require intensive therapy before he's able to walk again, she said.

His great-grandmother's now home but with multiple rib and spine fractures.

In the surveillance video, you can see the truck push the family's car into a school bus.

The truck goes spinning out of control before the driver and passenger climb out of the driver's side and start running.

"Didn't stop to render aid or anything," Hernandez said.

Police arrived within seconds.

The family's attorney, Richard Nguyen, sent Eyewitness News a statement, which reads in part:

"The perpetrators who caused this major car accident were being pursued by law enforcement officers at a very high rate of speed ... There needs to be a thorough review of the policies and procedures with respect to the viability of pursuing criminals in a high-speed police chase."

The Houston Police Department initially told Eyewitness News they weren't pursuing the truck but said an officer saw it run a red light before the crash and may have tried to pull it over.

Friday, HPD clarified that an officer believed he saw the suspects stealing lawn equipment from a trailer about two miles from crash site, but said they fled and almost hit the officer's patrol car in the process.

Police said the officer activated his emergency lights, but didn't chase the suspects.

HPD said it's actively working to identify the driver and passenger.

"I want them to pay for what they did," the boy's grandmother, Ana Torres, said. "My baby may not be the same anymore, but we're trusting in God that God's gonna heal him completely."

The family has started a GoFundMe campaign to cover medical expenses.

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