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Good Samaritan helps catch hit-and-run driver

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Johnny Piper, who helped police catch the suspect Johnny Piper, who helped police catch the suspect

Two people were killed in hit and run crashes this weekend and now police are thanking a Good Samaritan for helping catch one of those responsible for killing a woman and fleeing the scene.

Johnny Piper was driving up to the intersection of Manor Road and Pecan Brook Drive Friday night. It was there he noticed a wreck had just taken place.

According to Austin police, the driver of a ford pickup, 20-year-old Christian Gonzalez Martinez, ran a red light, killing 36-year old Christina Lopez.

"Everybody was panicking. And when people are panicking around me I'm usually the one to do something about the situation," Piper said.

Police say immediately after the crash Martinez attempted to flee the scene but not before Piper could catch up with him.

"He just started swinging and I just started weaving "Piper said. "He fell and everything and then he jumped up and hopped in the car and they took off."

Officers say Martinez escaped, but not before Piper was able to get valuable information.

"I got the license plate number and I gave that to the officers and they went straight and went and got him," Piper said. "If they weren't there that night the chances are he would not be in custody today."

Austin police say Piper did the right thing.

"We're not at the scene when it happens so any time there's a witness whose able to call 911, provide a description, stay with the suspect and lead us to him, that's going to assist the investigation," said APD Cpl. Anthony Hipolito.

Christian Gonzalez-Martinez faces seven charges including intoxication manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and a detainer by immigration and naturalization service has also been placed.

Piper's mother says she's proud of what her son did.

"I always tried to raise my kids right. He did the right thing. Thank god," Lillie Piper said.

As for Piper, he says he's still coming to terms with Lopez's death.

"It messed me up when the officers told me that she was laying there in the car dead. I started crying," Piper said. "I can't imagine how her family feels, because I have family myself and if something happened to them I would just lose it."

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