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VALLEJO – A suspect driving a suspected stolen vehicle crashed while fleeing Vallejo police Monday night and died when the car caught fire, according to witnesses and police dispatch audio.

The unidentified suspect was the Second person killed in three days in police chase in Vallejo. Earlier this year, Vallejo police said they wanted to reduce the number of accidents and injuries during chases.

According to audio recordings from the dispatch center, the pursuit began shortly before 11 p.m. on Monday after an officer saw a white Dodge that had been reported stolen driving north on Couch Street.

The officer pursued the car and then attempted to stop it, but the driver failed to yield the right of way and fled south on Broadway at speeds of up to 60 mph, according to the dispatch center’s audio recording.

T. Jones, who lives on Tennessee Street, said she heard police sirens and saw police pursuing a white SUV at the corner of Broadway and Tennessee.

The vehicle struck a house on the southeast corner of Broadway and Alabama Street and caught fire. Jones said she saw smoke coming from the hood of the vehicle.

The audio data from the dispatch center shows that the officers used 40 mm bullets (non-lethal) to break the window and free the trapped passenger. Rescue workers then performed CPR on the driver, who died a short time later.

Jones said a pool of blood formed on the sidewalk, which firefighters later washed from the street with the fire hoses they had used to put out the vehicle fire. Police and rescue workers covered the occupant’s body with a yellow tarp.

Vallejo police did not respond to a request for further information Tuesday morning.

The fatal accident follows Another death during a police chase in Vallejo early Saturday morning. During that chase, one person in a car fleeing from Vallejo police was killed and five other people were injured, including two bystanders.

This pursuit began when Vallejo police officers attempted to stop a dark gray Mercedes near Sonoma Boulevard and Lemon Street just before 1 a.m. Saturday, according to a Police press release.

When the Mercedes failed to stop, an officer pursued the vehicle north on Sonoma Boulevard and reported the vehicle traveling at 75 miles per hour. According to dispatch, it collided with a blue Subaru at the intersection of Sonoma and Tennessee.

Police said officers and the Vallejo Fire Department rendered medical aid to the occupants of both vehicles, but one person in the Mercedes was pronounced dead at the scene. Emergency vehicles transported the two occupants of the Subaru and three other occupants of the Mercedes to local hospitals, the dispatch center said.

According to police audio, officers found four firearms in the Mercedes, and a witness said one of the occupants was wearing a ski mask.

The recent fatal crashes come as Vallejo police are trying to reduce the number of accidents related to police chases. internal report noted that the number of car chases has increased dramatically since 2020. Last year, two bystanders were killed in car chases involving Vallejo police.

Deaths and serious injuries associated with police chases have raised concerns among Vallejo community members about the safety of drivers and pedestrians during high-speed chases.

Hudson Joseph Stanley was killed after a driver fleeing police at speeds over 90 miles per hour rammed his pickup truck, causing it to overturn on Springs Road in August 2023.

One and a half months later 76-year-old succumbed to his injuries after being crushed between two vehicles when a vehicle involved in a chase collided with two parked cars on Carolina Street.

The Vallejo police report recommends that supervisors consider factors that are more likely to result in an accident when deciding whether to continue a pursuit, such as incidents that occur at night, on weekends and when the driver is speeding or driving erratically.

A recent San Francisco Chronicle investigation found that police chases have increased nationwide since 2020. From 2017 to 2022, at least 3,336 people were killed in police vehicle chases, including at least 1,377 people in 2020 and 2021. At least 551 of the fatalities, or 27%, were bystanders, the Chronicle said.

In September 2023, the Police Executive Research Forum and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services published a report in activities that suggested the agencies to adopt more restrictive policies.

According to the report, a study of 56 agencies between 2001 and 2007 found that 23.5 percent of chases resulted in negative consequences, such as accidents involving personal injury or property damage, and 9 percent of chases resulted in injury to an officer, bystander or suspect.

“These data suggest that a chase is not always worth the risks, especially when it is not necessary to apprehend a suspect,” the report said. “For example, rather than taking the risks of a chase, an officer could collect information about a vehicle’s license plate number to later apprehend the suspect.”


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