Witnesses describe Friday big rig chase and standoff

Image 1 of 2

The Fort Worth Police Department is taking over the investigation into a dangerous chase Friday that ended in a fiery crash.

Fort Worth and Arlington Police deployed their entire SWAT teams during the hours-long standoff that, much to the officers’ surprise, ended peacefully with no serious injuries, and the arrest of 35-year-old Jose Luis Cano Olivas.

Shawn Pandoff, his Fiancé and her three kids were in the far left lane of EB I-30 near Eastchase Parkway when he noticed cars frantically trying to avoid the semi, as it barreled toward them down the interstate.

“We were going down the road and he came right up against us on an angle and just slid right against our car,” said Pandooff. “He had no regard for anybody's safety whatsoever. It was worse than anything I've seen on the road.”

The semi continued to blow thorough traffic, quickly speeding toward Arlington Police Officer Cynthia Nickell and her partner, who were working an unrelated accident at I-30 and Cooper.

“We noticed the 18-wheeler approaching at a rapid speed on the inside shoulder, coming straight toward us. So myself and my partner jumped over the wall, the concrete barrier and we got our victim involved in the accident over the wall as well,” said Officer Nickell.

Moments later, that semi crashed along the side barrier, crushing another vehicle that burst into flames. “and that's when I witnessed Fort Worth PD come out with their guns out and that's when I realized we had a different situation,” she said.

SWAT arrived, unsure if the person inside the semi had a weapons. Meanwhile, lines of gathering spectators added to officers’ concerned about public safety.

“They saw hands, and then that’s when they saw the suspect inside the vehicle,” said Arlington Police Lt. Leo Daniels. “It was just a blessing no one was injured.”

The suspect, Jose Luis Cano Olivas is from El Paso, as is the trucking company that owns the semi. FOX 4 has reached out multiple times to that company’s owner but he has not said if Olivas is one of his employees or if he stole the semi which was carrying copper plates.

Roughly a dozen people were caught up in the crashes. Olivas is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest.