Irving police say a man had enough forethought to undo his wife's seatbelt and most likely saved her life after he lost control of their car and crashed. Sadly, the man and his 4-year-old son didn’t make it out of the crash alive.
Investigators say 25-year-old Marvin Amaya Martinez was trying to get onto Highway 183 when he misjudged the onramp. The car flipped and landed in a large puddle in construction. He died, along with his 4-year-old son, Brian. His wife and her 16-year-old son survived.
A partly submerged tire is all that’s left behind from the Mustang that Martinez was driving Sunday evening.
“Initially, it appears that perhaps speed was a factor in going through that entrance ramp there,” said Irving Police Officer James McLellan. “It was quite a sharp turn.”
The car flipped over and going airborne about 70 feet before landing upside down in rainwater that collected at the Midtown Expansion Project construction site.
Police say Martinez's wife, Jennifer Vences, told them he was able to undo her seatbelt and attempted to push her out of the car before he died.
“I just opened my eyes. I saw the water. I saw my husband helping me with my belt, and he pushed me to the door. He's the one — he was pushing me for me to get out,” the widow recalled. “I don't know how I broke that door. I don't know how I broke that window from the car. Only God did that.”
Vences and her 16-year-old son, who was seated behind her, managed to escape with minor injuries. Bystanders stopped and flipped the car back over as they tried to rescue Martinez and his 4-year-old son.
“I want to say thank you. Thank you so much. They helped me out,” she said. “Thank you, and I thank God that I'm here.”
Police say it’s a challenging area that requires extra attention.
“Because of the construction, the exits and onramps move from time to time. So it is important to obviously be alert, pay attention,” said McLellan. “It’s important to know where you are going and also slow down.”
A Midtown Expansion spokesperson said they will take a closer look at the construction project site.