Lynwood pursuit crash: Married couple coming home from quinceañera among 3 killed
LYNWOOD, Calif. - Three people were killed and one person was injured after a police chase ended in a crash in the Lynwood area Sunday morning.
Authorities said the pursuit started in South Gate before 2 a.m. Sunday. South Gate Police said an officer was in pursuit of two suspects they said were allegedly trying to steal a catalytic converter. Shortly after the officer called off the chase because of high speeds, the car crashed at the intersection of State Street and Tweedy Boulevard, which is on the border of South Gate and Lynwood, officials with the South Gate Police Department said.
South Gate officers rendered aid until paramedics arrived. A married couple was declared dead at the scene after their car was broadsided at the intersection, according to officials.
The victims were identified by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office as Micaela Balderas and Flavio "Ariel" Balderas.
"I called her in the morning she wasn't answering," their daughter Astrid Balderas said. "I called my sister and I just had a feeling something had happened."
Their daughter, Nayeli Balderas, said the family was on their way home from a quinceañera when their car was struck. Family members said Flavio Balderas was pronounced dead at the scene and Micaela Balderas died at the hospital.
A GoFundMe has been created for their funeral expenses.
The third person killed in the crash was identified as James Griffin III by his family. Griffin was a passenger in the car fleeing from police.
"My son lost his life because yet again the police decide to chase people not giving a crap about who's out there in the street or anybody's safety, and you guys want to say ‘Oh we care, we care.’ No you do not," said Tawana McCray, Griffin's mother. "Because if you did, you wouldn't chase people at high speeds no matter what they did."
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The driver of the pursued car remains in the hospital.
Sunday's deadly crash is the second that happened shortly after a police pursuit was called off in less than a week.
Christopher Teagardin and Timothy Schultz were killed in a crash in Panorama City on Jan. 31, when a vehicle the LAPD was chasing crashed into their car.