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Witnesses Recall Fugitives’ Crash: ‘He didn’t care about anybody’s safety’

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URBANDALE, Iowa — Residents along the 6400 block of Meredith Drive in Urbandale had a front row seat to the mangled aftermath of Monday evening’s serious accident involving two wanted fugitives.

Kaiya Staples lives across the street from the scene of the crash. She says the impact caused her house to shake.

“I was in shock,” she said. “I thought no one survived that. It was the biggest crash I had ever seen.”

Iowa State Patrol investigators say 23–year–old Scott Grimes was behind the wheel of the white Toyota Four-runner when he hit Amber Martinez, 39, head-on in her black Kia Optima. Officials say Grimes was driven the wrong way down the street at a high rate of speed.

Martinez is in the hospital in critical condition with a broken neck and several broken bones. The victim’s sister posted to Facebook stating Martinez was on her way to pick up her son from her parents’ house at the time of the accident.

Neighbors say they tried to help the victims but were quickly stopped by law enforcement officials.

“I got about half way down my yard and then one of the FBI agents told me to get behind a tree. That`s when I noticed they had assault weapons and that`s when they charged the white SUV,” said Urbandale resident, Nathan Smith.

Smith says he couldn’t believe what he was seeing in his front yard but he couldn’t believe what he heard come out of the fugitive’s mouth.

“He didn’t care about anyone’s safety,” said Smith. “(Grimes) hollered back to his girlfriend, ‘I love you’ cause she was hollering his name. I almost wanted to holler and him and say you don`t care about her, you don`t love her. Otherwise, you wouldn`t have put her in that situation or anyone else in this situation.”

As both suspects sit behind bars Tuesday night, the Martinez’ family sits by her hospital bed. They told Channel 13 when something like this happens, it doesn’t just affect the family of the person involved, it affects everyone in their life. Many people will suffer because of the selfish act of one person.

Authorities say Grimes had escaped from the Warren County Jail on Aug. 14 and police say he picked up his girlfriend Kayla Schultz, 19, who was also wanted, in the process.

The third driver involved in the crash, 38–year–old, Celestine Togba was taken to Broadlawns Hospital. There is no word on her condition.