A 13-year-old led California police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car, leaving two dead, including a 4-year-old girl, and nearly a dozen injured. The boy now faces 13 criminal charges, including two counts of murder.
Deadly pursuit ends with 2 dead, 11 injured
Police in Woodland, California, about 50 miles northwest of Sacramento, noticed a vehicle being driven erratically on Saturday. When the officer attempted to pull the vehicle over, the driver made a getaway, and the pursuit followed.
The pursuit escalated into a high-speed chase. The pursuit ended when the car crashed into two other vehicles, causing them to catch fire, ABC 57 reported.
Nearly a dozen people were injured in the crash, two of whom died. One person died at the scene, and another passed away four days later, CNN reported.
A four-year-old girl succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday, The Mercury News reported.
Police later determined that the driver of the car was a 13-year-old boy who had stolen the vehicle from a family member.
Photos of the horrific crash showed one vehicle smashed into a pole, as well as another vehicle, an SUV, with a third vehicle on top of it, People reported.
Video footage obtained by NBC showed the aftermath of the crash in which multiple vehicles were mangled and ablaze.
“The officer attempted to pull the vehicle over and then pursued the car to the intersection of College and Court Streets,” the Woodland Police Department said in a statement. “The car collided with two other vehicles causing two cars to catch fire.”
The California Highway Patrol was investigating the matter.
One victim had just attended memorial for a family member
A victim of the crash was identified as 43-year-old Tina Vital, who was trapped inside the car with two of her adult children and 4-year-old granddaughter, Yahoo reported.
Vital was killed only hours after attending a celebration-of-life ceremony for a family member who had recently died, local news station KCRA reported.
One of her adult sons and granddaughter were taken to the ICU, ABC 10 reported.
Teenager faces numerous felony charges
The 13-year-old driver was taken into custody for vehicular manslaughter with negligence and evading and causing injuries. Both are felony charges.
The Woodland Police Department said in a statement that after the teen received medical treatment, he would be booked into the Yolo County Juvenile Hall.
The boy was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Wednesday.
On the same day of the 13-year-old boy’s court appearance on Wednesday, a second victim died in the hospital, 4-year-old Adalina Lilah Perez, the Woodland Police Department announced in a news release.
Because the boy is a minor, authorities have not released his name. At his arraignment, the 13-year-old boy was charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, evading police causing injury, vehicle theft, evading police while driving recklessly, child endangerment, driving without a license, and evading police causing death, the Sacramento Bee reported. The charges included numerous enhancements, including allegations of causing great bodily injury while committing the crimes, according to court documents.
Several of the 11 surviving victims also received life-threatening injuries and burns in the crash.
The boy pleaded not guilty to a total of 13 criminal charges, including two counts of murder. A request from the boy’s defense attorney to release the minor to the custody of his parents was denied. He will remain in custody at Yolo County Juvenile Hall until an April 20 detention hearing. He also has a May 3 jurisdictional hearing.