Law And Order...SUV - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/07/08--Smith County

Law And Order...SUV

Aimee Kuechle, 20, said she has been involved in one hit-and-run before--the first time, the driver sped off in his car.  But Kuechle was still surprised when this time the guy took off on foot.

On Friday, she was going through a green light at the intersection of Hwy. 69 and FM 346 when Jose Alvarez, 17, ran a red light and plowed into Kuechle's Honda.  "It was quite an ordeal--very stressful couple of hours," she said.  

She said after Alvarez took off, a few witnesses decided they were going to chase him into the woods with their vehicles. Kimberly Lee was one of those people.  "I was thinking to myself, he just hit that girl back there and he just ran away," Lee said.  "I thought, he's not getting away with that."

After seeing what happened, Lee put her Hummer H-2 in gear.  She said here vehicle wasn't bullet proof, but she was confident where ever the suspect ran, she would be able to follow.  "We just had to keep a safe distance away from him while we were following him." 

Lee called 9-1-1, and followed the suspect from the road.  He crossed through a creek, into another field, and into a private driveway nearby.  "He just kept going.  He just went through the barbed wire fence--he had lost his shoe," she said.  "  She said she wasn't real scared until she went down a private drive.  "There was only one way in and one way out.  That's when I got a little nervous."

Lee backed out, but her tracking skills paid off.  Authorities eventually caught up with the suspect just yards away.  "It did work out well in this situation," said Trooper Jean Dark, a Department of Public Safety trooper.  "Would I advise that all the time?  No," she said.  She said the best and safest thing to do after witnessing a hit-and-run situation is to try and get the license plate number and a good description of the vehicle.

But Kuechle is still very grateful for the little lady in the big H-2.  "She was a huge help."

Layron Livingston, Reporting


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