San Angelo Police Identify Driver, Deceased Passenger in Friday's Vehicle Evasion on South Abe
At approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 20, 2018, Investigators with the Department’s Street Crimes Division and Anti-crime Unit directed Patrol Officers in marked police units equipped with emergency lights and sirens to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle pursuant to an ongoing criminal investigation into felonious activity.
The vehicle, a silver-colored 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup driven by Daniel N. Diaz, 22, of Winters, Texas, failed to stop and a vehicle pursuit ensued throughout several city streets. When Diaz reached the intersection of W. Concho and S. Abe, Diaz disregarded the red light and collided with a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox that was traveling southbound on S. Abe. The pickup came to rest after colliding with a traffic signal pole at the southeast corner of the intersection.
The driver of the Equinox, an 83-year-old San Angelo woman, reported no injuries at the scene. Diaz and three other truck occupants were transported to Shannon Medical Center with various injures. One of the occupants, identified as Gaiden Crelia, 20, later succumbed to his injuries.
During interviews with two of the truck’s occupants after the collision, Investigators learned the occupants were using illegal narcotics inside the vehicle prior to the collision and drug paraphernalia was recovered at the scene.
In total, the pursuit lasted approximately three (3) minutes and just prior to the collision, the pursuing Officer’s speed was 39MPH.
Diaz was later charged with Evading Arrest Detention Causing Death.
The San Angelo Police Department has a strict Pursuit Policy that appropriately weighs an officer’s sworn duty to apprehend lawbreakers with the obligation to protect life and the public’s safety. The aftermath of Diaz’s actions has undoubtedly affected the Crelia Family as well as the emergency responders who were at the scene.
This is an ongoing investigation and no other information is available for release at this time. The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the traffic collision.