Fifth child dies as result of truck being hit by stolen car chased by police

By Calvin Palmer

A fifth child has died as a result of a stolen car being chased by police slamming into a pickup truck near Fresno, California.

The GMC Sierra truck carrying Carlos Salazar Jr, 29, and Jennifer Salazar, 26, together with their five children was hit by a stolen Dodge Neon on Saturday afternoon.

The four-mile chase began just before 2:00 p.m. when Officer Marcos Nunes saw a gray Dodge Neon run a stop sign. At speeds approaching 80 mph, police said Nunes saw the car run a second stop sign two miles later as it began to pull away.

He called for the California Highway Patrol helicopter to take over the chase just before the stolen vehicle plowed into Salazar’s pickup truck, ejecting four of the children. Police said no one in the truck was wearing seatbelts.

Jocelyn Salazar, 7, Monique Salazar, 4, Michael Salazar, 3 and Sienna Salazar, 1, died at the scene four miles from Dinuba. Carlos Eric Salazar, 8, was taken to hospital but died of his injuries on Sunday.

Carlos and Jennifer Salazar remain in hospital in Fresno.

After the Neon broadsided the Salazar’s truck, police learned it had been stolen earlier that day in a mugging in Selma. Three men approached David Sperl, 26, and demanded his wallet and keys. When he resisted, police said, they pulled a handgun and took his cell phone, wallet and car.

The teenagers in the stolen car were identified as driver Oscar Esparza, 17, of San Diego; Arthur Rivas, 19, of Dinuba; and Richard Carrasco, 16, of Dinuba. All three were killed in the collision.

[Based on reports by the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times.]

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