The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences has identified the driver of a 2019 Chevrolet Malibu involved in the deadly wrong-way crash on Interstate 10 in Baldwin County on April 1 as 26-year-old Dominic Scotti Garcia Jr. of San Antonio, Texas. Previously, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), which is investigating the collision, identified 34-year-old Crystal Lee Moradie of Converse, Texas, as one of the other two victims in the car. The identity of the second passenger is pending, and according to a news release, “it may be months” before it is known.
Prior to the collision, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) initiated a stop on the vehicle for swerving. But according to its account, the vehicle accelerated in an attempt to outrun the deputy. It exited I-10 at the Wilcox exit and reentered the interstate westbound. Reaching the Baldwin Beach Express, the vehicle then briefly exited the interstate and went southbound before making a U-turn and reentering the interstate westbound.
The vehicle did a U-turn on the interstate and drove eastbound in the westbound lane at “a high rate of speed.” The deputy lost sight of the suspect vehicle as it continued to drive into oncoming traffic. Moments later, the suspect impacted a 2018 Ford Escape head-on that was traveling westbound, killing the driver and passenger of that vehicle.
Joseph L. Andrews, 81, of St. Simons Island, Georgia, was injured and airlifted to University Hospital in Mobile, where he died the next day. His son, Kevin J. Andrews, 54, of Milton, Florida, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Police have said those in the Malibu were burned beyond recognition.
The deadly crash has called into question the BCSO vehicle pursuit policy, which advises against engaging in pursuits for misdemeanor offenses. According to cell phone video captured by passersby during the pursuit, the deputy was also driving an unmarked SUV, which the policy advises against.
It further stipulates pursuits should be discontinued when “the hazards of a high-speed pursuit are high, exposing the officer and the public to unwarranted risk, especially if the violation is not of a serious nature.”
In an annual report presented to the Baldwin County Commission in March, Mack said of more than 14,000 traffic contacts in 2018, there were 64 vehicle pursuits.
On Tuesday, he said he expects to complete the investigation this week and plans to hold a related news conference soon after. He said the third victim in the Malibu is tentatively identified as a female, but he could not yet provide further information.
“We have a meeting with ALEA tomorrow to try to get its final wreck investigation, so we’re hopefully days away from having a final report,” he said.
“It was important to identify them first so we could answer … questions, but now we have a pretty good idea of what happened,” he said.
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