A man in a wheelchair was injured and the woman who was pushing him died when they were struck by a suspected drunken driver early Sunday in south Modesto.
Officer Tom Killian of the California Highway Patrol said the driver fled the scene but two witnesses gave chase on county roads, Highway 99 and Modesto city streets.
Alice Fink of Turlock was pushing Dennis Smith of Modesto just hours after she had celebrated her 53rd birthday. They were struck at 2:12 a.m. while going north on Oli-vero Road near Crows Landing Road. Fink was taken to Doctors Medical Center, where she died. Smith suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. His condition was not available Monday.
Killian said witnesses chased the vehicle that they believed hit Fink and Smith, a 1990 Ford pickup. Killian said the pickup traveled at high rates of speed down Crows Landing Road and onto northbound Highway 99.
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Killian said the pickup took the Kansas Avenue exit and headed toward Carver Road, where the vehicle was abandoned in a parking lot.
"The witnesses set up a perimeter, but didn't see the suspect again until he re- entered the truck and sped away. The wit- nesses lost him, but they had the license number," Killian said.
CHP officers traced the vehicle to an Oakdale address. Officers learned that the truck had been sold three days before and that the buyer lived on Carver Road.
Killian said officers went to the address of the buyer and found a man hiding under a bed. He was wearing clothes described by witnesses to the accident and had keys to the pickup in his hand.
Martin Flores, 25, of Modesto was arrested on charges of drunken driving and felony hit-and-run. Fink died after Flores was released on $25,000 bail; authorities are looking for Flores to rearrest him and charge him with vehicular manslaughter, Killian said.
Angelica Duarte, 24, and Sergio Flores, 32, both of Modesto, were arrested on charges of aiding and abetting a felon trying to flee.
Bee staff writer Roger W. Hoskins can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2311.