Dallas police have named a Mexican national believed to have entered the country unlawfully as the suspect in a major hit-and-run accident in Dallas earlier this month.
Gilberto Salas Guerra, 41, was arrested on October 20 on several charges related to an incident that left a young married couple critically injured.
As previously covered by The Dallas Express, Alan Tienda and Sandra Sanchez were struck by a gray 2012 Ford F-150 FX pickup traveling westbound on East Kiest Boulevard that allegedly ran a red light at South Marsalis Avenue. The couple’s 2019 Dodge Charger was totaled.
While Tienda has been released after two surgeries for brain bleeds and other injuries, his wife is still in the hospital with injuries to the head and shoulders, as well as a broken pelvis.
“I don’t remember how I got to the hospital. I don’t remember nothing,” Tienda told Fox 4 News KDFW.
His sister, Samantha Lopez, started a GoFundMe to help cover the couple’s medical costs and support the family as they recover. Tienda and Sanchez are parents to two boys aged 2 and 8.
“I thank God for giving me another chance and everything,” Tienda said. “I just thank him so much for giving me another chance to be here alive, to keep going forward, and to be here for them.”
As for Dallas police identifying a suspect, Tienda was surprised it had even been possible. He urged the accused to take responsibility for his actions.
“You always gotta think about what you do before you do the things,” said Tienda, per Fox 4.
“Then you gotta face your consequences,” he added.
For Salas Guerra, those consequences include three counts of collision involving injury or bodily harm and two counts of collision involving serious injury or bodily harm, according to jail records.
The records also note that he is an unlawful migrant and that there is a federal illegal immigration hold disallowing him from being released from Dallas County jail on bond.
Dallas police were led to Salas Guerra by the pickup he reportedly abandoned as he fled the scene. The car was allegedly registered in his name, and his passport was left inside. Moreover, testimony from his ex-girlfriend suggested he called her for a ride on the night in question, allegedly telling her he had been in a crash.
He purportedly has four prior traffic offenses in the United States, including one for driving without a valid license in 2019.
Unlawful migration continues to seep through the southern border, costing Texas taxpayers around $11 billion annually, as reported by The Dallas Express. Meanwhile, some unlawful migrants have found themselves in legal trouble for alleged criminal activity around the metroplex.
For instance, Dallas police arrested Juan Vicente Zavala Lopez, 45, last month on charges of murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated assault of a peace officer after an hours-long manhunt, as covered by The Dallas Express. Zavala Lopez was an unlawful migrant with a criminal history on U.S. soil who had already been deported on nine different occasions at the time of his latest arrest.
Meanwhile, Dallas police continue to labor against an officer shortage, with the City currently maintaining a force of fewer than 3,200 officers despite a prior analysis recommending Dallas keep around 4,000 on staff to maintain public safety.