NEW BRAUNFELS — After a short search, police arrested a man suspected of being involved in a hit-and-run crash Wednesday afternoon near Morningside Elementary School in New Braunfels, authorities said.
The man crashed a sport utility vehicle into a car driven by a woman and ran away. With help from onlookers, police found the man and arrested him, a New Braunfels Police Department spokesman said.
A fire department official said the woman was not hurt in the crash.
NBPD Capt. John McDonald said he was able to cobble together preliminary information, but an official report on the incident had not been filed by Wednesday evening.
Police were called about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday to the scene of a reported head-on collision in the area of Morningside Drive, McDonald said. He said a man hopped out of the SUV and fled the area.
Witnesses to the crash helped police track the man, McDonald said.
“Citizens were able to keep an eye on him and his direction of travel and alert officers to where he went,” he said. “Officers caught up with him in the back of the parking lot of Leisure Pools (3567 Interstate 35 S.) on the northbound frontage road where he was taken into custody.”
McDonald said he could not release the suspect’s identity Wednesday evening because the man had not been formally charged, nor did he have any information as to the man’s age or address. McDonald said the man likely will face at least one charge.
“He was taken to the Comal County Jail where he’s facing charges of at least evading arrest and I’m not sure what else,” he said.
Battalion Chief Donny Obuch of the New Braunfels Fire Department said firefighters and paramedics responded to the crash scene. He said they arrived to find the SUV also had smashed into a utility pole.
The woman had been test driving the car when the SUV sideswiped it, Obuch said. He said members of the fire department sprung into action when they arrived because they thought the woman was trapped inside the car.
“We thought we were going to have to cut her out the car,” Obuch said.
The woman managed to free herself, and climb over the center console and out of the passenger-side window without injury, Obuch said.
“Seat belts save lives,” he said “She should’ve been hurt, but she wasn’t because she was wearing her seat belt. It kept her in the driver’s seat and it kept her in the passenger compartment.”
Comal ISD spokeswoman Julie Jerome said she had heard nothing about the crash near Morningside Elementary School, or whether the crash and subsequent search for the suspect might have affected operations at the school.