- Katie Hall American-Statesman Staff
Dec. 11 update: An Ohio man who authorities say ran into traffic on Interstate 35 in San Marcos while fleeing police, has died, officials said Monday.
Michael Ray Russell of Wooster, Ohio, was taken off life support on Saturday at 12:45 a.m. and died immediately after, San Marcos officials said.
San Marcos police had responded last Wednesday to reports of a collision on I-35 near the Posey Road exit. Witnesses said a Pontiac with Ohio license plates had struck the center concrete barrier and was stopped in a traffic lane.
The driver, who police identified as Russell, abandoned the vehicle and walked north on the inside shoulder, police said.
When a San Marcos police officer tried to detain Russell, he was initially compliant, officials said, but then he ran away – crossing the highway twice until he was struck by a Ram pickup.
The officer, who had commanded Russell to stop but did not follow him through traffic, was not injured.
The driver of the truck will not face charges, police said.
Russell was taken to Seton-Hays Hospital in Kyle with critical injuries and was later flown to Dell Medical Center in Austin, where he was placed on life support.
Investigators determined that the Pontiac was reported stolen out of Wooster, and Russell had a warrant out of Michigan for receiving stolen property, officials said.
Original post, Dec. 7: An Ohio man who crashed a stolen vehicle on Interstate 35 Wednesday morning in San Marcos was later hit by a pickup when he ran from police into oncoming traffic, authorities said.
The man, identified by police as 30-year-old Michael Ray Russell, was critically injured in the incident.
The Pontiac that Russell was driving had been reported stolen out of Wooster, Ohio, and Russell had a warrant out of Michigan for “receiving stolen property – motor vehicle,” San Marcos officials said.
San Marcos police got word of the crash at 7:18 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-35 near the Posey Road exit, city officials said. The car struck the center concrete barrier and stopped in a lane of traffic.
Russell then started walking north on the inside shoulder, officials said. A San Marcos officer asked him to stop.
“Russell was initially compliant, but then ran from the officer,” San Marcos officials said in a statement. “He ran across the interstate twice before being struck by a 2017 Ram pickup.”
Russell has a fractured skull and a compound femur fracture, officials said. He was taken first to Seton Medical Center Hays in Kyle, then later taken via helicopter to Dell Seton Medical Center in Austin.
As of Thursday, Russell was on life-support in critical condition, officials said.
San Marcis has had five traffic deaths this year, officials said.