CEDAR HILL, Texas - Police say an off-duty Dallas firefighter was drunk when he crashed into another vehicle early Wednesday and killed a teen driver and her unborn child.
The wreck happened about 12:45 a.m. in the 200 block of southbound Highway 67 in Cedar Hill.
The firefighter, Horace Shaw III, 45, was driving a two-door white Mercedes "at a high rate of speed" when it struck a Mazda SUV, authorities said. The force of the wreck ejected both people inside the SUV.
Cedar Hill police say the driver of the SUV was an 18-year-old young woman, Alyssa Pimentel, who was pregnant. She and her unborn child were killed in the wreck. Her boyfriend, Isaiah Perez, was also in the SUV but only received minor injuries. Police say she was hit as she was merging back into traffic on Highway 67 after dealing with a flat tire.
Police say their initial investigation leads them to believe both alcohol and speed were factors in the deadly wreck. Investigators were told that Shaw had been drinking at a bar in Dallas before the wreck. Shaw and a male passenger in his car suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
21-year-old Isaiah Perez is still in shock. He, himself, has a fractured neck and leg, but he wanted to talk about what happened and to share what a light his girlfriend and unborn baby were in his world.
"It hurts when you have someone in your arms, and you're just holding them and you don't want to let go," he said.
In Alyssa Pimentel, Perez saw his future. They met at Midlothian High School, but 21-year-old Perez just started dating 18-year-old Pimentel last year. He just got her name, and the name of their unborn baby, Josiah, tattooed on his wrist.
"She already got the bassinet and bought all the baby stuff," he said. "That's the one thing she was really happy about and proud."
Perez says his girlfriend's due date was Christmas. He says he planned to propose to her and had already bought her ring. The, everything changed Wednesday in Cedar Hill.
"I just remember getting picked up from work and then stopping on the side of the road to change her tire or check if it had air in it. Then we got back on the highway," he recalled. "I blacked out, and I woke up on the side of the highway. And I'd seen her laying on the other side of the highway with her belly sticking out."
Perez doesn't remember the impact, but he remembers the moments afterward. Both of them were thrown from her Mazda SUV.
"I had to crawl to her and I held her in my arms," he recalled. "I was telling her I loved her. And she only said three words back. She said she loved me and not to give up. And then she just like fell asleep in my arms."
Perez was so concerned about his girlfriend and child that he signed papers to discharge himself and find them. That's when he was told they both died.
Josiah was able to be born but only lived for less than an hour. Perez never got to meet his son.
"I just can't stand the fact that she's gone," Perez said. "I think she would actually walk through the door or come in or call me or hearing her laugh, but I can't."
A statement from her Pimentel's parents says, "We are very disappointed with the fact that an individual who is tasked with saving lives is responsible for taking the lives of our family members. As you can imagine, our grief right now is immeasurable."
After being released from the hospital, Shaw was booked into the Dallas County jail for intoxication manslaughter and released on bond. Police say additional charges are pending.
Shaw is on administrative leave from the fire department pending an investigation. He's been with Dallas Fire-Rescue for the past 12 years.