A 28-year-old woman riding in a car being pursued by Ceres Police died in a horrific crash ending on Oakdale Road north of Scenic Drive in Modesto early Wednesday.
The pursuit began at 1:30 a.m. when a Ceres Police officer noticed a suspicious black Toyota Camry parked in the business complex on the northwest corner of Mitchell and Don Pedro roads. When the officer pulled into the lot to investigate, the driver of the Camry turned on the headlights and began to quickly move through the lot. The Officer attempted to catch up to read the license plate as it turned onto Mitchell Road as a second officer began to tail it. Officers attempted to stop the Toyota after it made an eastbound turn onto Service Road from Mitchell Road. The driver pulled into the Chevron gas station east of Mitchell Road to stop briefly then accelerated to a high rate of speed onto northbound Mitchell, running the red light at Service Road.
Officers deployed stop sticks on Mitchell north of Fowler Road in an attempt to deflate the tires but the driver drove around them and continued northbound on Mitchell into Modesto at speeds of over 100 mph.
Ceres officers requested the help of the Sheriff’s Department helicopter which was unavailable. By the time the car made its way north of Yosemite Boulevard the Toyota had gained distance on the pursuing officers. As the Toyota entered the intersection of Oakdale Road and Scenic Drive, officers saw the driver lost control, striking a tree on the east side of Oakdale Road where it split in two on impact and started a fire.
The rear end of the Toyota came to rest in the roadway and the front portion came to rest on the east side of the road, ejecting the woman onto the ground.
Driver Devin Long, 24, of Jamestown, emerged from the wreckage and ran towards the stores on the east side of Oakdale Road. Officers ran after Long but their attention was diverted to an unresponsive female ejected from the car on the road amid the wreckage. Officers requested medical assistance and began providing first aid for the female.
Modesto Police officers responded to help locate the driver. Approximately 40 minutes later he was located hiding in a nearby trash enclosure by Modesto officers.
The vehicle was found to be stolen out of Sonora. The Modesto Police Department is investigating the collision.