A San Francisco police chase is making headlines as the week begins. Three people were killed after the car they were driving on Saturday night drove into a taxi. The three individuals in the white Chevrolet sedan were involved in a police chase, which officers decided to end because of the location of the chase.
According to ABC News, the chase was happening just blocks away from festivities connected to Super Bowl 50, which featured a win by the Denver Broncos over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night.
Why did the police chase begin? According to Officer Vu Williams, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, police authorities first encountered the Chevrolet sedan around 9:20 p.m. on Saturday night. The car was making doughnuts in the road of a residential neighborhood. When police arrived on scene, the individual driving the car decided to speed away from the scene instead of stopping for the officers.
The police pursued the Chevy sedan until it began to speed through red lights. That is when the police decided to end their pursuit. Two blocks later, the sedan ran into a yellow taxi and burst into flames. When police arrived at the crash scene, they found one person had been ejected from the car as a result of the crash. All three individuals in the white sedan appeared to have died instantly.
— Elissa Harrington (@EHarringtonNews) February 7, 2016
— Elissa Harrington (@EHarringtonNews) February 8, 2016
Another ABC News report revealed more about the police chase and the individuals involved. Friends told the local ABC News affiliate that their friends inside the car had just left the NFL Experience. The individuals were headed home after a night out.
Before the trio headed home though, they were involved in a street race with two other cars. A witness revealed what they saw happen before the police chase to ABC 7 News.
“A witness says he heard three cars racing down the street, looked and saw a white car racing a blue Viper or Corvette and a black Charger. He said the cars were flying down the street about 80 mph and then a minute later five or six cop cars followed behind them before he saw the white car had crashed.”
At the time of the crash, the police were no longer in pursuit of the car. Officer Vu Williams revealed that the chase was stopped, “Because it’s on city streets with traffic that’s at that area of the city, there are also pedestrians out on the roadway, and especially when that vehicle started to run red lights… in his judgment it became too dangerous to continue the pursuit. That’s why he discontinued that.”
The identities of the three individuals in the Chevrolet have not been revealed. The driver of the taxi cab complained of minor injuries at the scene, and he was transported to a local hospital for an examination. There was a passenger in the cab at the time of the accident, but the passenger fled the scene before the police could talk to them.
Neal Taylor, another witness to the crash, spoke with the local CBS News affiliate about what he saw at the crash scene. Taylor said, “The whole car burst into such intense flames — bang — nobody could survive. There was no movement or sounds of any people … so we couldn’t help them. There was nothing we could do.”
As a result of the crash, the intersection of Ninth and Brannan streets was closed for several hours following the accident.
This was not the incident involving the San Francisco police that made national headlines in recent weeks. At the end of January, two of the escapees from an Orange County jail were arrested after a police chase through Golden Gate Park. The two individuals were found inside a Whole Foods Market, according to SF Gate. Hossein Nayeri and Jonathan Tieu were arrested on Saturday, January 30. The two men escaped from jail in Santa Ana, California, on January 22. The arrest ended a week long manhunt for the pair.
As for the crash that happened on Saturday night, the incident could have ended even worse than it did. The crash happened less than a mile from two big events connected to Super Bowl 50. If the chase had continued, others could have been injured.