Four who fled wreck arrested by officers
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

March 20, 2004 -- Sheriff's deputies and state troopers apprehended four men who fled the scene of a motor vehicle crash Saturday afternoon on State Highway 11 east.

Hopkins County Sheriff's Deputies Eddie Moon, Cliff Gloar and Steve Scott, State Trooper Cary Barnett, along with Hopkins County, Brinker and Pickton-Pine Forest firefighters and Hopkins County Emergency Medical Services personnel were dispatched at 1:15 p.m. Saturday to the wreck scene, located on SH 11 east just a mile east of FM 269.

When troopers and volunteer firefighters arrived they advised that the driver of a black Chevrolet Silverado pickup involved in the crash had just fled on foot into the woods, which deputies Moon and Gloar confirmed after taking in the scene and speaking with witnesses.

State Trooper Cary Barnett noted seeing three men, later identified as three of the quartet which fled the wreck, fleeing into the woods upon his arrival at the accident scene. The trooper indicated the three appeared to have been gathering beer and alcoholic beverage containers from inside the vehicle, then followed the driver into the woods with the alcohol. Someone on a tractor, which dispatchers advised was someone who saw the men flee and went after them, was also seen headed into the woods.

A perimeter search was set up by available officers, who by 2:40 p.m. had located three of the four suspects, identified as the three who fled into the woods with alcohol.

A 19-year-old Mount Vernon man was charged by Deputy Moon and trooper Barnett with public intoxication, while a 25-year-old Pickton man was also charged at 2:41 p.m. by deputies Moon and Gloar with public intoxication. Both were identified by witnesses as occupants of the wrecked truck.

A third suspect, 32-year-old Forronato Regalado Torress of Pickton was also located by officers and determined to have been one of the four men to have fled from the accident involving a black Chevrolet Silverado pickup. Torress was arrested on an INS warrant, identifying him as an aggravated felon, found during a records check conducted by dispatchers and affirmed by immigration officials, according to Moon's report. He was being held at the county jail Monday morning for immigration officials.

Sulphur Springs Police Cpl. Jason Ricketson was contacted around 2:15 p.m. to bring in his canine partner, Sony, to attempt to track the driver as HCSO's canine units were unavailable at the time. Sony picked up the man's scent and was able to track the 26-year-old Pickton driver along the Caney Creek bottoms, where he found the man hiding under the root system. The man was charged with driving while intoxicated.

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