On Saturday they were getting ready for a reunion with 23-year-old DMarkus Blea as he was returning home from Atlanta after being away for about a month. His mother was excited to see him again, as was his girlfriend, who picked him up at the airport.
That’s when things took a dangerous and unfortunate turn, after a stolen vehicle ran a red light at Eubank and Menaul, plowing into DMarkus Blea and his girlfriend. They were both rushed to the hospital.
Now, a day later, the situation has become dire. The family of DMarkus Blea says he is brain dead after suffering multiple injuries.
“We’re doing as best we can,” said Richard Blea, DMarkus's uncle. “We’re here for each other. We’re giving each other hugs and trying to keep my sister positive because she’s the one who’s hit hard right now.”
DMarkus Blea’s girlfriend, meanwhile, also suffered serious injuries. She is expected to pull through.
Police say six people were inside the stolen Jeep that hit DMarkus Blea and his girlfriend, including three adults and three minors.
Two of them were under the age of 15.
According to court documents, 18-year-old Dominic Rougemont told police he stole the Jeep Friday night from an apartment complex, then started taking it to parties around town. During that time, he told police, he picked up five other people, including 18-year-olds Matthew Nieto and Kwontez Kuvinka.
Court documents state police discovered that vehicle was stolen and started pursuing it. It was at that point, according to court documents, that those inside the vehicle began to wipe their fingerprints from the inside to avoid getting in trouble.
The Jeep reportedly ran a number of red lights, police say, before the collision.
In the aftermath of the collision, the Blea family is hoping that some change comes from the tragedy.
“I think chasing someone in the city is dangerous for the public, for everybody,” Richard Blea said. “My nephew, if the car wasn’t being chased, he possibly still would be alive right now and I wouldn’t be having this interview.”
The Bleas have set up a GoFundMe account to help cover medical expenses and travel for family members who live out-of-state.
A similar situation occurred over the summer, when a suspect driving a stolen RV crashed into a car that sent its driver to the hospital. He later died.
Emily Jaceks and Brittany Costello
Updated: October 23, 2017 09:02 AM
Created: October 22, 2017 04:04 PM
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