Lufkin pedestrian back in critical condition; police release initial report

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A man injured after being hit by an SUV while walking on Timberland Drive last Friday has been downgraded to critical condition.

Jaime Lopez, 53, of Palestine, had been upgraded to serious condition on Thursday but a hospital spokesperson said on Friday his condition was back to critical.

Last Friday, Cpl. Nick Malone said Jaime Lopez was walking in the turning lane on the 400 block of North Timberland Drive when he was hit by a 2003 Chevy Tahoe, driven by Johnathan McGinty, 30, of Huntington, at 11:20 a.m., which was traveling northbound.

Malone said on Friday that witnesses gave conflicting statements about what happened.

Police released an initial crash report on Friday, which states that McGinty was driving northbound on North Timberland Drive and Lopez was crossing the street. McGinty said he was going to make a left turn into Sonic, which was located approximately 380 feet ahead of where he began to move into the center turn lane. McGinty said that as he was moving into the turn lane, Lopez "just appeared" in front of him and he did not have time to stop before striking him.

A witness at the scene said he was in the parking lot of 401 N. Timberland Drive and that Lopez was walking westbound across Timberland Drive. The witness said he had been standing there for some time and was waiting for southbound traffic to clear before he was struck.

Officers concluded McGinty may have problems with his vision, according to the report.

Police spokesman Det. J.B. Smith said measurements taken from the scene will be used to reconstruct the crash scene in an attempt to determine who is at fault in the accident.

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