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California

Two drivers killed as police pursuit ends in violent crash in La Verne

Double fatality accident in La Verne
Work crews remove a red Acura from the scene of a double fatality accident on White Avenue in La Verne Friday morning.
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Two people were killed in La Verne after a car being chased by police crashed into another vehicle Thursday night, authorities said.

Officers tried to stop the driver of a red Acura Integra on suspicion of running a stop sign and a red light in the area of White Avenue and Arrow Highway about 8:50 p.m., La Verne police Sgt. Justin Newman said in a news release. However, the driver failed to pull over and sped northbound on White Avenue.

Police had been pursuing the vehicle for less than a mile when the Integra collided with a black Toyota Corolla near the intersection of White and College Lane, Newman said.

Video from the scene shows firefighters working to extract the injured motorists from the mangled vehicles.

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Two people who were inside the Corolla and three people from the Integra were taken to a hospital, where the drivers of both vehicles were pronounced dead. The driver of the Corolla was identified by police as 68-year-old Marlet Reyes. Authorities have not released the name of the person driving the Integra that was being chased.

The three passengers are in critical condition, police said Friday.

Many criminologists recommend that police refrain from car chases unless the suspect they are pursuing is wanted for a serious crime. Law enforcement agencies in several California cities — including San Francisco, San Jose and Long Beach — instruct their officers to chase only drivers who are wanted in a violent felony or present an immediate danger to the public.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. Anyone with information is asked to call the La Verne Police Department at (909) 596-1913.


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