Police Chase Ends in Tragedy - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Police Chase Ends in Tragedy

March 28, 2006
Reported by Rhonda Kitchens

Nieves Montenegro came to America with the dream of a better life for his family.

"They're from a small town you know, it's nothing like America," says Rene Gonzales. "He was here working, sending money back to them and that's how they were being supported."

But around 2 a.m. on March 21st, a man on the run from police lost control of his vehicle and crashed inside a Sallier Street house as Montenegro and his coworkers slept inside.

Felipe Garcia was the first to realize the danger. "He heard the sirens real loud and as he was getting up to view what was happening the window hit him in the head," Gonzales translates. "It just happened so quickly and then he turned around and saw his friend laying here and then debris came flying and he didn't see him anymore."

Montenegro's body had been thrown through the wall and landed in the grass, now marked with a hardhat bearing a symbol of his heritage. 

Garcia says he instantly saw at least 7 cop cars so he tried to ask police of his friend's fate, but was quickly told to go back inside the house. The next time they would see Montenegro he lay comatose in a hospital room.

Gonzales says, "It was devastating. There was a lot of crying and hugging going on."

The immigrant who left his home land for work was once again reunited with his family as they traveled from Mexico to be by his side.

"They couldn't even talk," says Gonzales. "They were too busy crying for their son."

Nieves Montenegro's dream came to an end on Saturday when he was taken off of life support. He died just one day after turning 35.

The driver of the truck, 48-year-old Hancle Ray Taylor of Lake Charles was also transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Lake Charles Police say the case has been turned over to the Calcasieu District Attorneys office for charges of DWI, flight from an officer and hit and run.

Additional charges may be pending following Montenegro's death.

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