Three days after an innocent bystander was killed amid a police chase in Arlington, Texas, loved ones gathered to remember Hector “Tito” Ruiz.
A crowd, dressed in white, released balloons Tuesday evening for Ruiz and his best friend, Gabriel Flores, who is still recovering from the crash.
“Losing his friend and him being there, it’s going to be hard for him to recover from this. It’s going to be hard for him to recover from this loss,” said Flores’ sister-in-law Mayra Miranda.
Miranda said Flores and Ruiz had gone in search of a cake Saturday for Flores’ daughter’s 15th birthday.
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They were at the intersection of New York Avenue and Arkansas lane when Arlington Police said a robbery suspect they were chasing hit the men’s car from behind, pushing them into the intersection where other drivers collided with them.
“They were just at the stoplight. They were just going to get the cake. That’s all they went to go do. They went to get the cake, and this person just ran into them and hurt my brother-in-law and killed this wonderful human being that should still be alive,” said Miranda.
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Today, Flores, a husband and father of two, underwent surgery for a spinal injury.
Miranda said now, as Ruiz’s family makes plans to transport his body back to Mexico, and Flores’ figures out how they’ll get by while he’s recovering and unable to work, she’s questioning whether what happened Saturday could have been prevented.
“I just think this whole situation is so unfair and I just think it could’ve been handled in a different way,” said Miranda.
Arlington Police said Saturday’s chase began after officers attempted to make a traffic stop on a person of interest in several robberies.
They said the collision happened after a short pursuit.
According to police, the suspect was quickly arrested and transported to a nearby hospital.