SONORA -- An Oakdale woman died early Thursday when the car she was riding in flipped while trying to evade the California Highway Patrol during a 7-mile chase, authorities said.
The driver, Ricky Joseph Chavez Jr., 23, of Oakdale and his passenger, Holly Corinne Hanson, 22, were ejected, according to the California Highway Patrol. Hanson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Chavez ran off but was caught after a short chase, the CHP reported.
He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury or death, hit-and-run resulting in death, evading a peace officer, causing serious injury, gross vehicular manslaughter, and obstructing or resisting a peace officer, said Lt. Dan Bressler of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department.
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Chavez was being held Thursday evening in the Tuolumne County Jail on $600,000 bail and $200,000 bail for previous warrants, according to a jail official.
Hanson was a 2003 Oakdale High School graduate and a member of the school's softball team. According to birth records, Hanson left behind a 3-year-old daughter.
Hanson's father, Abby Rissetto, declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.
The CHP said the chase started about 1:40 a.m., when Sonora area CHP officers tried to pull over the 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier for speeding at about 80 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 108.
The car was heading north on Highway 108-Highway 49 at the Montezuma Road junction and didn't pull over when an officer turned on the lights and siren, officer Mike Buller said.
He said the Cavalier continued past Jamestown and into Sonora, where the car turned north onto South Washington Street and made a loop back onto Highway 49 toward Highway 108.
As the car approached the intersection, the driver lost control and overturned several times, according to the CHP.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada contributed to this report.
Bee staff writer Inga Miller can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2324.