One person was killed and four people were injured after a man driving a stolen muscle car ran a stop sign and hit a minivan carrying two infants in a rural area south of Kingsburg, the California Highway Patrol said Thursday.
Officer John Tyler said the CHP learned of a stolen 2008 Chevrolet Corvette from a third-party GPS provider around 1:30 p.m. Officers found the car in northern Tulare County and tried to conduct a traffic stop. The driver failed to pull over.
The Corvette accelerated away from the CHP officers.
“His vehicle greatly exceeds the capability of our vehicles,” Tyler said. “That tells me he was going very, very fast.”
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The officers soon lost sight of the Corvette. While canvassing the area, they learned it had run a stop sign near Sixth and Barstow avenues in the northeast corner of Kings County and hit a 2012 GMC Terrain SUV.
Some officers swarmed the Corvette, while others tended to the victims inside the SUV. Both cars were totaled.
A 21-year-old man riding in the SUV was taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center where he later died, CHP said.
In all, four people were injured: Olivia Flores, 34, of Selma, who was riding in the Corvette; Marissa Campos, 21, of Rancho Cordova, and Sophia Solis, 21, of Kingsburg, who were riding in the SUV; a 2-year-old in the SUV; and a farmworker on a ladder picking peaches on the southeast corner of the intersection.
All were taken to local hospitals with moderate to major injuries, Tyler said.
The driver of the Corvette, later identified as Victor Zavala, 28, of Kingsburg, was arrested on multiple felony charges. He was not hurt, Tyler said.
Penny Workman was on her way home from Hanford when two patrol cars sped past her. Eventually she was stopped at a CHP roadblock, where she began filming officers with her cellphone.
“They (officers) had their guns on the Corvette,” Workman said. “The cops kneeling by the car seat stayed with the baby the whole time. There were three helicopters that flew over us.”