Family of six killed by police pursuit devastates members of national nonprofit organization



by Candy Priano

Founder and Executive Director, PursuitSAFETY

Members of PursuitSAFETY, a national nonprofit organization, share their devastation and concern over the deaths of a family of six to recover a piece of property—a stolen truck.

They were killed on impact and other innocent bystanders were injured when a driver fleeing a Texas DPS officer crashed into the family's SUV Monday afternoon in rural Hidalgo County in Alton.

If the outcome of police pursuits is to save lives, the goal is not being met. These tragedies repeat themselves throughout the United States and the world. They leave behind families—families who have buried innocent loved ones or innocent victims who have received life-altering injuries.

Research proves the majority of drivers who flee do not pose an immediate threat to the public prior to the chase. It is the chase itself that causes the threat.

PursuitSAFETY is not an anti-police organization and does not want to ban pursuits. Pursuits are necessary to apprehend offenders for violent crimes and when there are no other alternatives to capture suspects in a safer way.

PursuitSAFETY families in Texas and across the country hope those left behind will reach out to the organization. The innocent killed from Penitas are Jose U. Ortiz, 55, and Olga Lidia Morales Cardosa, 35, and their four children Elias, 1, Fernanda, 3, Jose, 6, and Ricardo, 5. Their 3-year-old son, Jesus, was airlifted to a hospital.

Jon Farris, PursuitSAFETY's chairman, wrote on the organization's facebook page: "Absolutely horrible and totally unnecessary. Makes me ill just thinking about the victims' families having to begin this terrible journey."

These deaths illustrate an on-going problem when it comes to vehicular police pursuits and public safety.

About PursuitSAFETY

PursuitSAFETY is the only national nonprofit organization of its kind. PursuitSAFETY exists to reduce deaths and injuries of innocent bystanders and police officers as a result of vehicular police pursuit and response call crashes. We are working for a safer way through education, awareness and by uniting families of innocent victims. Learn more at

Photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Candy Priano Founder & Executive Director (530) 343-9754 (W) (530) 519-9754 (C) Esther Seoanes Board Member in Austin, Texas (512) 351-0289 (C) Jessica Herrera Rodriguez Media Representative for Mcallen, South Texas (956) 534-6433 (C)

Source: PursuitSAFETY