Sunday night, Maria Ortiz (21) of Lewisville died from injuries sustained after jumping from a moving vehicle.
LTJ obtained the incident report which provides more detail on what happened.
Maria was in the passenger seat of a red Ford F150 Pickup being driven by her husband Mauro Sanchez. The couple had just taken their children (ages 5 and 3) to Central Park and were returning home. They traveled North on Edmonds, and turned right on Bellaire. Witnesses saw her prop the door open, but disagreed on exactly what happened.
An 18 year-old woman who witnessed the accident initially claimed that Maria was pushed, but on questioning, she admitted she didn't actually see a push, but believed she was pushed because "why else would she have jumped from a moving vehicle?" The female witness stated that the truck had been in the left lane when Ortiz fell out, and that the rear wheel had run over her head, causing the truck to bounce. Police found no evidence to support this claim.
Another witness, a 30 year-old male also said that he was behind the truck. He says the truck started to slow down, and the brake lights came on, causing him to slow down. He said he watched a lady climb out of the truck, turning sideways in the seat and stepping out of the truck. This caused her to take several steps before falling to the roadway, face first. He reported that she rolled several feet, which police found consistent with blood marks on the pavement.
Sanchez, the husband, said that the couple had been arguing because the girls wanted to stay in the park longer, and Maria wanted them to leave. Maria was upset that Sanchez did not support her with the girls. He said that Maria had propped open the door while still wearing her seatbelt and told him that if he thought it was easy with the girls, he should let her out now and he could deal with them. Sanchez said he was driving about 40 miles per hour, but that since there was a car behind him, he started to slow down. It was at that point that she just took off her seat belt, turned and stepped out.
Sanchez said that he didn't think any part of the vehicle struck her. He pulled over and ran back to his wife, who was lying in the street bleeding from the head and screaming. Several people stopped and there were four 911 calls. In two of the calls, police noted that they could hear Sanchez yelling for help for his wife.
Family members of Maria who showed up said that Maria was unstable when she gets mad, corroborating a statement by Sanchez that she would get angry to the point that she became aggressive.
When police first arrived on scene, Ortiz was still screaming and moving her arms and legs. Lewisville paramedics transported Ortiz to the Kroger parking lot on Business 121, where Careflite transported her by helicopter to Dallas Methodist Hospital. She died while in transit.
Police examined Sanchez and the vehicle and physical evidence on the victim and her clothing, as well as witness statements that we consistent with the evidence and concluded that she had not been pushed, but in fact caused her own death by stepping out of a moving vehicle and receiving a head injury from landing on the pavement.
The truck had been impounded for investigation, but has been returned to Sanchez. The case is closed pending a toxicology/histology result from the autopsy.
Read the incident report here. (Some readers may find upsetting...)
Note: LTJ has redacted certain witness information that we feel would unnecessarily compromise privacy.