Teen dies in head-on collision on I-30
Arizona boy, 15, had apparently run away from home, was trying to elude traffic stop Saturday

Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

State troopers and Hopkins County sheriff's officers survey the wreckage after a head-on collision claimed the life of an Arizona teen Saturday on Interstate 30. The boy, 15, had reportedly run away from home and was trying to elude law enforcement officers when the Kia he was driving crossed the center median and ran head-on into an 18-wheeler.
-Staff photo by Ricky Russell

June 1, 2004 -- An Arizona youth who apparently ran away from home died Saturday following a high-speed chase on Interstate 30 from Cumby to Sulphur Springs that ended when the Kia he was driving virtually exploded after crashing head-on into an 18-wheeler.

Jesse Ryan Rademaker, 15, was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Saturday by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup, who ordered an autopsy be conducted by the Dallas County Medical Examiner.

Local officers first became aware of Rademaker just before 7 p.m., when Cumby Police Officer Ed Parker noticed the eastbound Kia traveling at what appeared to be a high rate of speed with a spare "donut" tire on the front of the vehicle. Parker attempted to stop the Kia on I-30 in Cumby after noting it to be traveling at more than 80 miles per hour, then notified other officials he was initiating a pursuit.

Parker continued chasing the Kia, which Rademaker's mother had apparently reported stolen to Arizona authorities, at speeds in excess of 100 mph on the interstate, with Hopkins County sheriff's deputies, Sulphur Springs police officers and Texas Department of Public Safety officers alerted to joining in the chase.

The Cumby policeman had to pull back from the pursuit after entering Sulphur Springs, when his car began to overheat. At that time sheriff's officers reportedly took the lead in the pursuit, with the other agencies assisting. DPS officials put out a Stinger Spike Strip on the eastbound lane of Interstate 30 past the College Street overpass in an attempt to slow down the rapidly moving vehicle.

At that point the Kia veered off the roadway, apparently to avoid the spikes, and went into the center median between the east and westbound lanes of I-30 near the Loop 301 overpass. Rademaker apparently then lost control of the vehicle, which spun into the westbound lane of traffic, where it collided head-on with a 2000 model Freightliner truck. According to reports from State Trooper Corey Kernell, the truck's driver, Ricardo Antonio Flores of Los Angeles, Calif., was unable to avoid the collision.

The vehicle reportedly rolled down the side of the tractor-trailer rig, sending parts of the compact car all over both sides of the road for about a mile of I-30 from the 127 mile marker, before the remaining bulk rested on the north shoulder of the westbound lane of traffic, witnesses said. The collision sent the westbound 18-wheeler into the eastbound ditch, with the cab facing south, Kernell's report states.

Flores was noted to be very shaken by the wreck, but appeared to otherwise have sustained no serious injuries.

Rademaker was believed to have been killed upon impact despite the fact that he was wearing a seat belt. From what local officials were able to ascertain from the boy's family in Mesa, Ariz., and authorities in that city, the juvenile had recently run away from home, taking his mother's car with him.

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