By HEATHER CATHLEEN COX
The police search continues for the driver of a vehicle in a fatal hit-and-run incident that left a local man dead on Sunday.
At 3:33 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, officers with the San Benito Police Department responded to West Expressway 83 in reference to an unconscious male with multiple injuries, which were presumably caused by a motor vehicle in a reported hit-and-run.
The victim, identified as Richard Garcia Mata, 23, of San Benito, was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
On Tuesday, authorities confirmed that the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run incident is a 2014 Chevy Silverado LT or LTZ Texas edition truck. Assistant Police Chief of Operations Michael Galvan said, “We don’t know the color or whether the truck is two or four doors, but the pieces we found (indicate) that model.”
Galvan added, “Since the truck is a 2014, the only place (to purchase) parts is at a dealership.”
SBPD officers and investigators are asking those with information regarding the auto-pedestrian fatality to call (956) 361-3880 or (956) 564-2135.
In a separate but related incident, one of the police units on the scene was struck by another motorist traveling in the vicinity of the original incident.
While SBPD officers remained on Expressway 83 to process the hit-and-run scene of the aforementioned auto-pedestrian fatality, one officer—reportedly 200 feet away from his unit—was directing traffic to exit at the next available ramp.
At approximately 4:47 a.m., a gray vehicle traveling in the center lane struck the police car, causing severe front end damage and causing both airbags to deploy.
The driver of the vehicle that struck the police unit, identified as 34-year-old Eric Damian Dominguez of La Feria, reportedly obtained minor scratches on his left arm and right wrist. However, when a medical unit arrived, Dominguez allegedly refused hospital transport.
Authorities allegedly located several bottles of beer in Dominguez’ vehicle, and according to the official police report, Dominguez allegedly smelled strongly of alcohol and displayed signs of intoxication.
Dominguez, who had three prior arrests for driving while intoxicated, had also allegedly been driving with a suspended license. Officers placed Dominguez under arrest. During the booking process, an officer located Xanax pills in Dominguez’s possession.
A blood search warrant was obtained, and Dominguez was transported to Harlingen Medical Center for blood draw. Dominguez was hauled to city jail, where he was later arraigned by Municipal Court Judge Benjamin Yudesis. Bonds were set at $55,000.