Reynaldo Lopez, 79, of 505 Old Carrizo Road wanted a taco, so he grabbed his keys, hopped in his 1989 Ford F-150 pickup truck and started to back out of his driveway. That’s when everything started to go wrong.
Instead of pulling into the street, Lopez backed the truck all the way across the street into a neighbor’s yard where he struck several trees. The truck then went into the alley behind Old Carrizo Road and struck a fencepost behind 507 S. Park St. From there, the truck turned north onto Park Street, swerved into a 2006 Chrysler 300 parked at 204 W. Park St., then continuing on until it came to a complete stop at Park and Main. An officer at the scene said it appeared the pickup might have hit a stump and been dragging the stump for several blocks before catching on fire and filling the cab with smoke.
As soon as the truck stopped, first responders leaped into action and pulled the dazed and confiased Lopez from the vehicle just moments before the entire truck burst into flames. Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department responded in force to extinguish the blaze. Sheriff Charlie Mendeke said Lopez, who is his father-in-law, had recently been switched to a new medication and that apparently caused him to become confused. Though Lopez was uninjured in the incident, he was taken to the hospital to be evaluated following the incident.

Firefighters and police gather around a burned out pickup truck at the intersection of South Park and West Main streets shortly after 6:30 a.m. Jan. 5. According to police, the vehicle caught fire shortly after first responders pulled the driver, Reynaldo Lopez, 79, from the smoke-filled cab. (Staff photo by Margaret Palermo)

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