Dead body found in Texas man’s car after he said he damaged it hitting an animal

A Dallas-area driver is accused of fatally striking a pedestrian, driving 40 miles, parking at a restaurant and telling the police officer who discovered a body in his passenger seat that he believed he had hit an animal.

Nestor Joel Lujan Flores, 31, was slumped over the steering wheel of a Kia Forte that had extensive damage to its hood and windshield when police found him about 11:15 p.m. Saturday in a White Settlement restaurant parking lot.

Lujan Flores, who in 2021 was convicted of driving while intoxicated in nearby in Collin County, has been accused of intoxication manslaughter.

“Detectives believe the impact was so severe that the pedestrian was thrown inside the vehicle and came to rest on the passenger seat,” according to police in White Settlement, which is about 40 miles west of Dallas.

After a concerned citizen called police about the vehicle and its damage, an “officer arrived and noticed what appeared to be a human body with no signs of life in the front passenger seat,” White Settlement police said on Facebook.

“He believed he had struck an animal in Dallas and continued driving to this parking lot. The driver never notified police or fire emergency responders of this incident,” police said.

Police said Lujan Flores’ car had been in the restaurant’s parking lot for several hours when the officer arrived.

Police initially contacted several Dallas- and Fort Worth-area law enforcement agencies looking for the site of the crash scene.

Police on Sunday morning said the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office informed them of a crash on the westbound service road of Interstate 30 near Cockrell Hill Road in Dallas County, about 38 miles from the restaurant where Lujan Flores and the victim were discovered.

“Human remains were located near the roadway that may possibly match the victim’s body that was recovered from inside the vehicle in the restaurant parking lot,” police said.

Based on that information, police said, White Settlement police will transition the criminal case for prosecution to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators secured a blood search warrant. The results are pending, police said.

Lujan Flores remained Monday in White Settlement jail. It was not clear Monday if he had retained an attorney.

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported that White Settlement Police Chief Christopher Cook said he’s never seen a similar case in his 28 years in law enforcement.

“It’s very unfortunate that he did not realize that this was a human being, to stop and render aid, and call for help,” Cook said. “When you’re impaired to this level where you hit a pedestrian on the roadway and you think it’s an animal, that’s a significant impairment.”