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Illegal resident to be deported for fleeing scene of injury accident

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
July 17, 2011 at 2:17 a.m.

Jose Cortez, 37, awaits medical attention while handcuffed after police said he fled the scene of a car accident. He was apprehended by Victoria police on the porch of a home on San Antonio Street.

One man was arrested Sunday after fleeing the scene of a two-vehicle accident on Houston Highway.

Jose Cortez, 37, was driving east at 4:30 p.m. on Houston Highway in a 1999, beige Ford Explorer when he attempted to turn left onto Azalea Street next to TDECU Bank, Victoria police said. While turning, he collided with a gray, 1990 Cadillac DeVille that was heading west on the same street.

The suspect's SUV struck the DeVille in the front and passenger side. Jacqueline Bailey, 40, was the driver of the DeVille, and Ricky Lewis, 29, was riding in the front passenger's seat.

After colliding with Bailey's DeVille, the suspect's SUV flipped on its side, and he fled the scene on foot.

Victoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Roger Hempel said Lewis had to be extracted from the car with hydraulic rescue tools and was transported to Citizens Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries. Bailey was uninjured in the wreck.

Cortez was detained minutes later on the front porch of a residence on 1600 block of East San Antonio Street for fleeing the scene of an accident and transported to Citizens for cuts on the head.

Victoria police Sgt. Robert Rogers said Cortez was an illegal resident and did not have a driver's license or vehicle insurance. He was later transported to the jail, where he will be picked up by Immigration Nationalization officials and deported, Rogers said.

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