Bobby Lee Murphy was charged with murder after he hit Karla Rico and her 10-year-old son, Matthew Santos, with his vehicle while fleeing from police in Garland, OK. The 37-year-old reportedly ran a red light in an attempt to evade incoming officers on Monday afternoon. At the same time, the 28-year-old Texas mom was driving through Garland when her vehicle was struck.

According to reports, Bobby Lee Murphy had been pulled over moments before the accident, at around 3:30 p.m. Monday. He had committed a traffic violation near Shiloh Road and Northwest Highway, police said.

When officers confronted Murphy in his black Honda Accord, they noticed drugs in his vehicle. As they attempted to investigate, Murphy fled the scene. In his attempt to flee, Murphy ran a red light and crashed into Karla Rico’s car, a silver Toyota.

What happened to Karla Rico? Bobby Lee Murphy charged with murder after fatal crash killed Texas mother and her 10-year-old son, Matthew Santos.
What happened to Karla Rico? Bobby Lee Murphy was charged with murder after a fatal crash that killed the Texas mother and her 10-year-old son, Matthew Santos. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

Bobby Lee Murphy also hit a third car, a Honda CRV, reports claimed. That vehicle was stopped at the red light in the southbound lanes. The driver of the Honda only had minor injuries and was released at the scene. Murphy, however, was transported to a nearby hospital along with the two passengers that were in his vehicle.  

Karla Rico was pronounced dead at the scene. Her son, Matthew Santos, was transported to a nearby hospital. He was said to be in critical condition. As of Thursday night, there were no updates on Matthew Santos’ condition.

The tragic accident was “like a movie, a scary movie,” according to Joshua Garcia, who witnessed the crash. He said that “you’re never prepared for anything like this situation.”

Garland police reported that Bobby Lee Murphy faces murder charges as well as charges for evading arrest causing serious bodily injury. Lt. Pedro Barineau of the Garland Police Department said in a statement that “it’s a horrible situation. It’s the worst-case scenario.”

He said that “this guy was driving so fast” but claimed “there wasn’t a police car behind him at all at the time that he ran through [the red light]. So he could have slowed down, but he chose to keep driving at such a high rate of speed.”

Barineau explained that at the time of the traffic stop, “when the officer approached the driver, he observed evidence of narcotics in the vehicle.” He claimed that “[the officer] was waiting for his backup to arrive and before they could further investigate. The driver of the Honda Accord who had been stopped fled the scene at a high rate of speed.”

According to police, Karla Rico’s son is still being cared for at Medical City Dallas Children’s Hospital. They also revealed that the victim’s dog was killed during the horrific car accident. Matthew Santos reportedly sustained severe injuries, including to his spine. He has not yet woken up. His grandfather, Carlos Rico, told reporters that the boy was not yet notified of his mother’s death.

Carlos Rico said that “I want to pray for my grandson, pray real hard. My daughter, you know, she passed away. But I say, ‘Thank you, God, for the time that she was living.’”

A GoFundMe page was set up to support the family during “these profoundly difficult times to help cover the medical expenses they are facing.” The fundraiser has raised over $30,000 since it began on Tuesday.

According to the page, “Karla was an incredible person and was loved and admired by everyone who knew her. She was such a blessing to everyone who had the privilege of working with her.”