A man who failed to stop after striking two people standing on the side of a highway access road last year was sentenced this week to four years in prison.
Glenn Hoke Garcia, 44, crossed the fog line and hit two people who were on the shoulder of I-30 near the Leary exit in Bowie County. The man and woman told investigators they were pulled over and inspecting their commercial truck/tractor when a passenger car struck them as they stood on the improved shoulder, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The man and woman who were struck both suffered fractures in their right arms.
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Aaron Jones arrived at the scene before 3 p.m. the afternoon of July 24. LifeNet paramedics were already on the scene.
One of the victims told Jones that his commercial truck is equipped with a dash camera which might have recorded the incident and provided Jones with the system’s SD card for review.
Jones collected a piece of a passenger side mirror which came from the car which hit the couple on the side of the highway. Jones observed a part number on the back of the piece of mirror and took it to an auto parts store in New Boston, Texas, to determine what type of car it came from.
O’Reilly’s Auto Parts staff advised the trooper that the mirror could have only come from a Toyota Camry between 2002 to 2006 and showed Jones a replacement mirror which was an exact match.
Jones reviewed the memory card from the commercial truck. It showed the couple being hit by a white Toyota Camry and the car’s mirror being knocked off. As the Camry turns southbound on Leary Road, the couple can be seen holding their arms and walking as if in pain. Jones was able to determine the car had dealer plates which were registered to Car Mart.
Car Mart employees told the trooper that Garcia was in the process of buying the car and had reported it was involved in a crash July 24 which left it inoperable. Car Mart had the car on its lot and Jones was able to observe damage to the right front quarter panel.
“The mirror piece recovered from the crash fit perfectly into the mirror housing,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
On July 30, Car Mart staff contacted Jones because Garcia was at the business attempting to get the car back. Jones responded to Car Mart. Garcia claimed he had damaged the car July 24 in a collision on Summerhill Road in Texarkana.
Garcia pleaded guilty to two counts of failure to stop and render aid this week at a proceeding before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. As part of a plea agreement, Garcia was sentenced to four years in prison on each count to run concurrently.
Garcia was represented by Assistant Public Defender Clayton Haas. Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards represented the prosecution.