A driver involved in a high-speed pursuit in Rolla that resulted in a multi-vehicle crash injuring three people, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging the driver with six felonies pursuant to the incident, with bond set at $250,000, court records show.
Edwardo Ruiz, 32, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was charged with two counts of first-degree assault resulting in serious physical injury, two counts of armed criminal action, one count of tampering with a motor vehicle and one count of resisting arrest, court documents show.
On Nov. 8 the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I responded to mile marker 190 to assist the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) in the pursuit of a gray F-250 driven by Ruiz and had one passenger. The vehicle was later confirmed stolen from the Dixon Police Department in Tennessee, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol’s probable cause statement.
After the Missouri State Highway Patrol was dispatched to assist the PCSD, radio operators informed the Missouri State Highway Patrol that the deputy lost sight of Ruiz, who was last seen on County Road 2000. Troop I radio operators then told Highway Patrol troopers that the PCSD was back in pursuit of the vehicle and were heading southbound on Route V, then eastbound on Dillon Outer Road, according to the probable cause statement.
During the pursuit, Ruiz crossed from the outer road onto eastbound I-44 and began traveling eastbound. Then Ruiz crossed the median near mile marker 193 and skidded past the turnaround, accorded to the probable cause statement. Ruiz then began backing the F-250 westbound in the eastbound lanes of the Interstate and ultimately turned around in the emergency turnaround.
Ruiz then began traveling westbound from mile marker 193 at an excess of 90 mph and drove across the separator near mile marker 192 onto the North Outer Road going westbound. The vehicle proceeded to cross over the separator and entered the exit ramp at mile marker 189 nearly hitting a patrol vehicle, according to the probable cause statement.
Ruiz proceeded to enter westbound I-44, and exited onto US 63, and weaved in and out of traffic, according to the probable cause statement. At one point Ruiz traveled southbound in the northbound lanes of US 63. Due to Ruiz entering the city limits of Rolla, the Missouri State Highway Patrol terminated their pursuit.
Ruiz continued on US 63 at a high rate of speed, failed to yield, and crashed the F-250, which rolled over on the corner of US 63 and Kingshighway. The crash involved two other vehicles, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers, who were pursuing Ruiz before the crash, arrived on the scene, according to the probable cause statement.
The F-250 driven by Ruiz was reported in the probable cause statement as rolled on its passenger side on Kingshighway, smoking heavily and the car engine was completely separated from the vehicle.
A Buick LeSabre was observed heavily in damage against the F-250, and the female passenger of the F-250 was lying on US 63 after having been ejected from the F-250. The Buick LeSabre was struck by the F-250 and had two occupants. A Chevrolet S-10 had also been struck, according to the probable cause statement.
Fire and Ambulance personnel arrived on the scene, shortly after the Highway Patrol. Personnel proceeded to treat the injured subjects, according to the probable cause statement.
Ruiz was pulled out of the F-250 and was unresponsive. A fingerprint scan performed by the Highway Patrol at the scene identified Ruiz along with revealing Ruiz had three active felony warrants through the state of New Mexico consisting of a warrant for failure to appear on battery of a police officer, a warrant for possession of a controlled substance and a warrant for robbery. A computer check on Ruiz also showed his driver’s license was suspended through the state of New Mexico, according to the probable cause statement.
The female passenger in the F-250, who was ejected from the vehicle, was identified, and both Ruiz and the passenger were transported by ambulance with serious injuries to Phelps County Regional Medical Center and later life-flighted to University Hospital in Columbia, states the probable cause statement.
Both the driver and passenger of the Buick struck by the F-250 sustained serious injuries. Both were transported by ambulance to Phelps County Regional Medical Center and later airlifted to University Hospital in Columbia for injuries. The driver of the Buick had a collapsed left lung, and the passenger of the Buick had a concussion, internal bleeding of the right kidney and a pelvic fracture, according to the probable cause statement.
Ruiz was in the Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital in Columbia and was not taken into custody because of his medical condition at the time, according to the probable cause statement.
After identifying all injured subjects at the scene, a crash investigation was conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The investigation determined from evidence at the scene that Ruiz was fleeing law enforcement traveling southbound on US 63. The Buick and Chevrolet S-10 were stopped on Kingshighway facing westbound. The Buick was in the right lane to travel across US 63 and the Chevrolet was in the inside left turn lane to turn left onto southbound US 63, states the probable cause.
The light turned green, giving the Buick and Chevrolet the right-of-way, and as both vehicles entered the intersection Ruiz failed to stop at the red light and the front left of the F-250 he was driving struck the front right of the Buick which skidded into the Chevrolet. After crashing into the Buick, the F-250 rotated and the right front end passenger side struck a traffic light pole and then overturned onto the passenger side, facing north, blocking the southbound lanes of US 63, according to the probable cause statement.
The Buick came to a stop blocking the southbound lane of US 63 facing south, and the Chevrolet came to a final stop facing west in the southbound lane of US 63. Two other vehicles were stopped in the northbound lane of US 63 at the intersection and were struck by debris, states the probable cause.
An arraignment was scheduled for Ruiz for Friday, Dec. 7 at the Phelps County Courthouse, court documents show. Updates will be provided.