Texas authorities have confirmed the death of 19-year-old TikTok star Gabriel Salazar, who they say was killed in a car crash Sunday following a police chase.
The harrowing details were described in a Facebook post by the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office outside of San Antonio.
Per the report, a ZCSO deputy had overheard a Crystal City Police Department officer initiate a traffic stop of a white Chevrolet Camaro at around 1:20 a.m. The CCPD cop then told the deputies that he was in “active pursuit” of the vehicle.
The county deputy “assisted with deploying a tire deflation device but was unsuccessful,” per the Facebook post.
Investigators report that Salazar was driving north on US 83 when he drove off the road, over-corrected and then rocketed across the highway into a ditch, People reported.
The vehicle subsequently hit several trees, rolled over and became engulfed in flames; Salazar and three Mexican nationals were pronounced dead at the scene, according to a Metro report.
Authorities have identified the three other individuals as 41-year-old Jose Luis Jimenez-Mora, 23-year-old Jose Molina-Lara and 36-year-old Sergio Espinoza-Flores.
It’s yet unclear what sparked the initial traffic stop, although the Texas Department of Public Safety is currently investigating the accident.
Salazar — who went by @gabenotbabe on TikTok — was known for posting short, humorous lip-sync videos to his page, which has a staggering 2.2 million followers. He posted his final video on Friday, Sept. 23.
Salazar’s family and friends have flocked to social media to mourn his passing.
“I love you so much Gabe,” wrote the star’s sister, Danna Salazar, in an Instagram story. “No matter how much we argued and fought you knew I loved u with all my heart and I would always tell you this. I’ll keep you in my heart forever this isn’t a goodbye it’s a see you soon ale. Make sure u and sebas watch over us.”
“Rest easy brother,” good pal and frequent TikTok collaborator Ricky Flores wrote on his Instagram page, along with a pic of the two during better times. “Words can’t even explain how I feel right now. Man I would do anything to get you back right now bro.”
Flores also posted a black-and-white pic of Salazar with digitally added angel wings. “Gabe: in loving memory,” read the caption.
Meanwhile, fellow pal Chris Vasques set up a GoFundMe page to cover Salazar’s funeral expenses as they’re “too much for his family to afford.” The fundraiser has amassed more than $38,000 in donations as of Friday morning.
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