Four people died on Friday night in a car crash on the westbound onramp from Tracy Boulevard to Interstate 205, following a pursuit by the California Highway Patrol.
CHP Tracy office spokesman Joe Whitlock said the chase started about 7 p.m. on southbound Interstate 5 near Lathrop when an officer attempted to make a traffic stop for a speeding violation on a 2006 Infinity sedan. Instead of pulling over the driver of the Infiniti accelerated away from the CHP patrol car and headed toward Interstate 205.
“The officer attempted to keep up with the vehicle for a few miles -- I believe this vehicle was faster than the patrol car -- and after a few miles the officer finally lost sight of the car. After they lost sight they discontinued the pursuit,” Whitlock said.
Radio traffic between the officer and the CHP dispatch center indicates that the Infiniti reached speeds of up to 120 mph, weaving through traffic as it headed south. The officer continued to follow, but was not able to keep sight of the car. Another officer at MacArthur Drive reportedly spotted the Infiniti and saw it exit at Tracy Boulevard, and then reported that the car had crashed, though it’s unclear if the officer saw the crash as it occurred.
The car crashed into a tree on the left side of the onramp, about 100 yards west of Tracy Boulevard. Whitlock said that officers attempted life-saving measures on two of the people outside of the car but it’s unclear if they were ejected or pulled from the car. All four died at the scene.
The San Joaquin County coroner’s office identified the deceased as Donald Edwards, 19, of Stockton, Trevon Breckenridge, 17, from Stockton, Kaya Durazo, 17, of Patterson and Ayana Guardado, 17, of Turlock. The CHP noted that one of the young men was driving, but did not say which one.
Breckenridge was a 2020 graduate of Edison High and was the quarterback for the Vikings football team. Edwards was a 2109 graduate of McNair High and also played football. Both girls were reported to be students at Patterson High.
As emergency crews arrived and the onramp was closed, family members of the people in the car arrived at the scene and were overcome by grief at the news that their loved ones had died in the crash. Others were frustrated that the CHP and Tracy Police had little information to give them in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
Whitlock said that investigators have yet to confirm how fast the Infiniti was going as it sped away from the first officer, and how fast it was going when it hit the tree. Investigators were trying to interview eyewitnesses and recover security camera video from nearby businesses to see if video evidence can provide more information on what caused the crash.