Driver charged with murder, victim identified, in fatal high-speed chase

John Gabriel Alvarado, 27, died Sept. 16; James Justice, 22 arrested

CASTROVILLE, Texas – A man who led Bexar County sheriff's deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in a fatal fiery crash has been charged with murder.

UPDATE: The Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the name of the man killed in a vehicle crash following a high-speed chase with deputies.

John Gabriel Alvarado, 27, died Sept. 16 when the truck he was riding in collided with a tree in front of a home after his driver refused to pull over during a routine traffic stop. 


(Original Story)

James Justice, 22, was also charged with evading arrest, Bexar County Sheriff's Office spokesman James Keith said.

The incident began around 2:05 a.m. Friday, when a deputy tried to stop a red pickup truck at Potranco and Talley roads for speeding and running a stop sign.

Keith said the 14.5-mile chase reached speeds of up to 100 mph before the truck hit a tree in front of a home on FM 471 off Highway 90 in Castroville.

The force of the hit cut the vehicle in half, Keith said. The passenger died at the scene. Justice was transported to University Hospital with broken bones.

A deputy suffered minor injuries after his cruiser hit a sign, which caused his airbag to deploy, Keith said. Another deputy suffered minor injuries after pulling the passenger from the wreckage when the pickup caught fire.

Keith said it's unclear why Justice didn't stop, but he said the suspect had an outstanding warrant for unlawfully carrying a weapon. A rifle was found in the pickup, Keith said.

Rhonda Haby, who lives across from the yard where the pickup hit, said she walked outside to find the vehicle on fire.

"It's very sad. Never seen anything that bad. Never seen a vehicle cut in half like that," Haby said.


About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.