Lakeway pursuit ends with 2 dead in three vehicle crash

Illinois man killed and another dies in crash while evading deputies

LAKEWAY, Texas (KXAN) — A three vehicle crash that left two people dead in Lakeway on Saturday happened as Travis County Sheriff’s officers were chasing one of the vehicles. TCSO spokesperson Roger Wade confirmed that deputies began following a vehicle that went through a red light at the intersection at South FM 620 and RM 2222.

The driver, who fled and was killed in the crash, was identified by the Department of Public Safety as Nicholas Stearns, 27, from Bartonville, Illinois.

Wade said Stearns continued to flee despite the deputies having their lights and sirens on. Police said to be driving erratically between lanes and fluctuating speed. Deputies reported the vehicle eventually drove into traffic near Murfin Road and crashed head-on with another vehicle.

DPS says 26-year-old Cristina Rincon Mendoza, from Midland, was killed when Stearns crashed into her car. Juan Cortez, a 27-year-old from Midland riding in the car with Mendoza, was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge by helicopter. Authorities say he is currently on life support.

Police said Mendoza’s car rolled onto its roof and was hit by a another vehicle. A 51-year-old Austin man in that car was treated at the scene and released.

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