Police identify those involved in Main Street crash

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

May 18, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.

A Victoria woman was killed Friday night after a suspected drunken driver slammed into her green Chevrolet Suburban traveling north at least 60 mph on Main Street.

Paula Nersesian, 64, of Victoria, was traveling west through the green light on Mockingbird Lane about 10 p.m. when she was hit by a man driving a black Ford F-150.

Police identified the driver of the Ford pickup as John Florida, 30, of Victoria.

Nersesian had the right of way, said Sgt. J. Strauss with the Victoria Police Department. None of the vehicles had passengers.

A Chevy Impala, driven by a woman, was stopped and facing east on Mockingbird Lane. She was about to turn north on Main Street when she was hit by one or both of the vehicles involved in the initial crash. She was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Nersesian was taken to DeTar Hospital Navarro. Police confirmed about 12:30 a.m. Saturday that she had died of her injuries.

Police arrested Florida on suspicion of manslaughter after he refused a roadside sobriety test. He had minor scratches to his hands and was taken to the Victoria County Jail.

Strauss said about 12:30 a.m. that officials were waiting for a signed warrant to obtain a sample of his blood. If the blood-alcohol content is greater than .08 percent, he will be charged with intoxicated manslaughter.

Joey Pena, of Victoria, said he told police that he and some friends were in a red Honda Civic following the Ford as it drove erratically from the South Moody Street area to Main Street.

"He barely swerved us and side swiped our car," Pena said, describing how the Ford was weaving and ran some stop signs.

He said they were following the Ford to get its license plate number when they witnessed the crash.

"We kept our distance," Pena said.

At least 12 Victoria police officers, a Victoria County Sheriff's Office deputy, two Department of Public Safety troopers, the Victoria County Criminal District Attorney and the Victoria Fire Department and EMS responded to the scene.

Officials were forced to close all lanes and re-route traffic on Main Street for several hours as they investigated.



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