Leading the news today is a story about a homeless man who was tragically struck and killed during a high-speed pursuit between California Highway Patrol and another driver. The man was hit on a Fresno off-ramp while asking for change from motorists. Many people recognized the man and described him as kind-hearted and caring. Those who knew the victim are questioning whether a high-speed chase was necessary over a routine traffic stop. However, CHP insists all protocol was followed and the officer was within his rights when he commenced the pursuit. Policy states that a chase should be initiated “to apprehend a violator who refuses to voluntarily comply with the law requiring them to stop.” It also says officers “must balance the known or suspected offenses against the risks to peace officers, innocent motorists and others.” In this instance, the perpetrator was traveling 80 mph and refused to stop. The driver has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, DUI, evading arrest and hit-and-run.
A tractor trailer overturned while trying to negotiate a series of S-turns in Clearlake Oaks causing panic as it began leaking diesel from its 80-gallon fuel tank. The fuel quickly began to approach a nearby watershed and reports of fire and flames were reported by onlookers. The driver was able to escape to safety uninjured. The Northshore Fire Department, Cal Fire and CHP worked in unison to control the issues. Approximately 30 gallons of diesel fuel was released but all was contained before reaching storm drains and the Cache Creek watershed.
In another high-speed chase incident, the perpetrator in a 160-mile chase has finally been identified. Several law enforcement agencies were involved in a 3.5 hour chase throughout Southern California on Sunday. The driver was finally apprehended after his vehicle was compromised by a spike strip on the Golden State Freeway. The pursuit began as a drunk driving stop Saturday evening off the Ventura Freeway. The driver refused to pull over and CHP commenced a pursuit. LAPD handed off the pursuit to CHP shortly thereafter. A female passenger was present in the vehicle the entire time, but family insisted she was not a hostage. The pursuit extended to nearly every freeway in the region including the 101 Freeway, the San Bernardino (10) Freeway; the 605 Freeway, the 60 Freeway and the southbound Ontario (15) Freeway.