Police identify suspect in motorcycle hit-and-run that killed 2 in Lubbock

Police identify suspect in motorcycle hit-and-run that killed 2 in Lubbock
Wanted by Lubbock Police and US Marshals for aggravated sexual assault of a child (Source: Lubbock Police Department)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock Police have obtained a warrant for 29-year-old Benjamin Ray Mitchell, of Shallowater, for two counts of failure to stop and render aid causing death in a Sept. 15 fatal hit-and-run crash. The warrant will be served by the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan.

Shortly before 10:15 p.m., a motorcycle was traveling southbound within the 4600 block of Avenue Q with a Buick Lacrosse, driven by Mitchell, traveling behind it. The Buick struck the motorcycle from behind and then left the scene. The police report indicates Mitchell was traveling 106 miles per hour just before the crash.

Wanted by Lubbock Police and US Marshals for aggravated sexual assault of a child
Wanted by Lubbock Police and US Marshals for aggravated sexual assault of a child (Source: Lubbock Police Department)

The vehicle was found abandoned shortly after the crash.

Both riders of the motorcycle, 40-year-old Anthony Childers and 31-year-old Barbara Matthews of Hobbs, New Mexico, were pronounced deceased at the scene.

Mitchell was arrested Sept. 22 in St. Clair County, Michigan. He was previously wanted by the U.S. Marshals for a parole violation charge with the original charge of sexual assault of a child.

The arrest warrant for Mitchell says he is charged with two counts of failure to stop and render aid in a crash causing death. There is an enhancement on the charges because of his felony conviction of sexual assault of a child.

The warrant says an officer was traveling northbound on Avenue Q, heading towards a criminal mischief call at Bolton’s at 38th and Ave. Q. The officer saw the vehicle Mitchell was in going southbound on Ave. Q at an extremely high rate of speed. Before the officer could turn around, he heard tires screeching and it sounded like the vehicle lost control and crashed.

The officer saw the victims in the roadway, and they had already died. Mitchell had left the scene of the crash.

On September 22, Mitchell was interviewed by the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force. During that interview, Mitchell told deputies he “regrets leaving the scene after the crash.” He told them it was an accident and the motorcycle pulled out in front of him.

After the crash, Mitchell went to Michigan. His vehicle was also seen at the Canadian border on several occasions. He was not able to cross into Canada because the border is closed due to COVID-19. He told deputies he went to Michigan because it was far from Lubbock. He also admitted to them he was driving at the time of the fatal crash in Lubbock.

Mitchell bonded out of jail on July 18, 2020 after being charged with tampering or fabricating evidence, evading in a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance, a case not related to the fatal crash.

The Major Crash investigation is ongoing.

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