Police arrest Erie motorist wanted over serious crash in Oct.; he had jumped out of ambulance

·2 min read

Millcreek Township police filed charges in late January against an Erie man accused of jumping out of an ambulance and fleeing minutes after causing a crash that seriously injured a passenger in his vehicle in October.

The man now faces a second set of criminal charges after Millcreek police said he fled from an attempted traffic stop on Sunday.

Esteban M. Lopez, 29, was in the Erie County Prison Monday on $50,000 in bonds following his arraignments Sunday morning by Greene Township District Judge Susan Strohmeyer on charges in both cases.

Lopez faces charges in a one-vehicle crash that happened on the morning of Oct. 22 in the 6000 block of Sterrettania Road in Millcreek. The charges include felony counts of aggravated assault by vehicle, accidents involving death or injury while not licensed, and flight to avoid apprehension.

Millcreek police accuse Lopez of being behind the wheel of a Pontiac G6 that went out of control and crashed, ejecting and seriously injuring a female passenger.

Investigators wrote in the affidavit filed with Lopez's criminal complaint that a witness stated the Pontiac passed her vehicle before it went out of control and flipped.

The female passenger suffered injuries that included a broken pelvis, a broken nose and a brain injury, investigators wrote in the affidavit.

Investigators said they spoke to Lopez briefly while he was being treated in an ambulance at the crash scene, but as Lopez was being transported to the hospital he exited the ambulance and fled in an unknown direction.

Police wrote in the affidavit that an examination of the Pontiac's airbag control module determined the car was traveling between 81 and 88 mph in a 45 mph zone four seconds before the crash and was traveling 56 to 77 mph at impact.

Investigators also wrote that the occupants of the car did not appear to be wearing seatbelts, and that Lopez's license was under a DUI-related suspension. Lopez said he did not have insurance, according to the affidavit.

Millcreek police filed the charges against Lopez on Jan. 24 following their investigation into the crash. He had been at large since then.

On Sunday at about 2:15 a.m., a Millcreek police officer attempted to stop an Isuzu Rodeo that was traveling west on West 12th Street at McConnell Avenue, but the vehicle did not stop and turned onto Hartt Road heading north, police wrote in the second complaint against Lopez.

Investigators said Lopez went through two stop signs during the pursuit before he stopped at the intersection of Montpelier and Argyle avenues and he ran off.

Lopez was eventually apprehended. He stated to officers he fled from police because he had warrants and did not want to get caught, police wrote in the complaint.

Lopez faces charges including a misdemeanor count of fleeing from police in the incident.

Contact Tim Hahn at thahn@timesnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ETNhahn.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Erie County crashes: Erie man faces charges in October crash in Millcreek