Nacogdoches Sheriff Provides Update on Fatal Car/Pedestrian Collision

The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a dispute related to a fatal car-pedestrian collision between Appleby and Garrison in Nacogdoches County on Tuesday night. The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the fatal crash.

At 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, 911 dispatchers reportedly received separate calls about a vehicle-pedestrian collision and a riot in the 16000 block of U.S. 59 North, according to reports. A preliminary investigation revealed that April Julissa Cavazos, 20, of Nacogdoches County, and James Lopez, 21, of Mineola, were involved in a spat that turned into a physical altercation.

For reasons not yet known, Cavazos entered the southbound lane of the freeway, where she was struck by a passing vehicle. Despite emergency lifesaving measures by law enforcement officers, Cavazos died of his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by a Justice of the Peace.

Around 9:27 p.m., while deputies were assisting at the crash site, dispatchers received a call that an unidentified person was at the residence of another person in the 1600 block of CR 263, about 2.1 miles away. During the investigation, deputies were told that Lopez had left the scene of the altercation. However, at that address, police located and identified Lopez, who was determined to be intoxicated and taken into custody.

Lopez was charged with assault causing bodily harm to a family member, a class A misdemeanor and public intoxication, a class C misdemeanor. He is currently incarcerated at the Nacogdoches County Jail on a bond totaling $3,000.

While the deputies were interviewing Lopez, the deputies were forced to block traffic on the highway again when people at the crash site rioted after the crash site was cleared. Leah Guzman, who was at the scene at the time of the crash and the initial disturbance, was detained for being openly intoxicated after being assessed as a danger to himself or others.

An investigation into the altercation is ongoing and the Sheriff’s Office is coordinating the investigation with the DPS.

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