Teen cyclist killed in hit-and-run, driver arrested

In a tragic turn of events on San Antonio’s South Side, an 18-year-old boy was fatally struck by a pickup truck while cycling home from work. The driver, identified as 66-year-old Daniel Martinez, was apprehended on Saturday and charged with failure to stop and render aid, leading to a fatality, according to an affidavit.

The incident transpired around 10:26 p.m. on May 6, near the 8500 block of IH-35 South and the 3000 block of Kiowa. At the scene, authorities discovered the lifeless body of Jacob Lopez alongside his bicycle. Notably, fragments of clear plastic and a piece bearing the name “Ford” were also found, though no vehicle was present.

Through their investigation, law enforcement deduced that Lopez was hit by a vehicle that subsequently fled the scene. Typically, Lopez’s commute home from work took around 12-13 minutes, and his body was discovered less than a block from his residence, along his usual route.

Surveillance footage from the 8600 block of IH-35 South northbound, across from the crash site, provided additional insight. Despite poor lighting, the video clearly showed Lopez being hit by a pickup truck while cycling along the southbound frontage road. The vehicle did not stop after the crash took place and the driver continued on its route.

An anonymous tipster played a crucial role in identifying the driver. She informed the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) that she’d seen a news report about the fatal accident and recalled witnessing a drunk driver in a Ford F150 hitting a pole the same night. Suspecting a connection, she provided police with the truck’s license plate number and its location.

SAPD officers located the truck at Martinez’s residence. It bore damage to the front driver’s side, left front, left bottom windshield, and left mirror, consistent with the accident scene.

The officers also noted a black tire mark, likely from a bicycle, on the front left side of the truck, and the plastic debris found at the crash scene matched a part of the truck’s left mirror.

Upon questioning, Martinez admitted to colliding with a pole while exiting the highway at Somerset Road, stating that he’d been returning home from a sports bar and might have been intoxicated. He recalled drinking four or five beers before driving. Initially, he denied hitting anything else, but inconsistencies in his account and the truck’s damage led him to admit that he did strike something at the accident site.

Uncertain about what he had hit, he confessed to not stopping because he was drunk.

Following this revelation, SAPD impounded his truck as evidence, and Martinez was taken into custody without incident.