With a trial for aggravated assault looming next week, a local business owner collided into an 18-wheel truck in Palestine, fled the scene, and then, driving at speeds exceeding 100 mph, hit another 18 wheeler head-on in Freestone County, about 10 miles away. That collision was fatal.
Dallas Ross, 74, co-owner of East Texas Dispatch, drove in front of oncoming traffic in Palestine and hit an 18 wheeler in the 4000 block of West Oak St. at about 3:45 p.m., Assistant Chief Mark Harcrow, of the Palestine Police Department, said Tuesday.
That collision did not disable Ross' vehicle or, apparently, seriously injure Ross, who fled the scene in a small car after a Palestine police officer tried to make contact with him. Ross led two squad cars on a chase down Highway 79, reaching speeds of over 100 mph, before colliding into another 18-wheeler on Highway 79, just west of the Trinity River.
The fatal collision appears to be intentional. The driver of the 18-wheeler in Palestine was not seriously injured. The condition of the driver of the 18-wheeler that killed Ross is not known, but is not believed to be life-threatening.
Ross was arrested on New Year's Day in 2018 on two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a shootout in the 1500 block of Missouri Street in Palestine. No one was injured.
Ross allegedly used a handgun to fire several shots through the glass door of a neighbor's house. Ross was released from jail the next day on a $7,500 bond.
His trial was scheduled to begin on Oct. 15. Given the charges and his age, Ross could have spent the rest of his life in prison.
A former business associate said Ross was driving cab full-time up to his death.
She said he had a sister and cousin. Ross was married several times, she said, but had no living children. He had been separated from his wife for years.