A dad and two children escaped major injuries Sunday after their vehicle was struck by another car driven by a man fleeing police in Modesto.
The 23-year-old suspect and his passenger, an 18-year-old woman, got out of their sedan after the wreck at Kansas and Emerald avenues. They fled about a half-block south on Emerald before they were captured by officers.
They were taken to a nearby hospital, where once released, the driver is expected to be arrested on several charges related to the wreck and outstanding warrants, according to Sgt. Jim Reeves of the Modesto Police Department.
The incident began just before noon when fire and emergency crews were called to Newgate Street just east of downtown after someone reported a person having a medical issue in a red Honda, Reeves said.
Officers were called to assist and it was quickly determined there wasn’t a medical issue. Seconds later, the driver put the keys in the ignition and fled. Reeves said officers did not pursue the vehicle because at that point, there were no immediately known reasons to hold him.
“He probably fled because he knew he had warrants,” Reeves said.
Minutes later, however, police learned of the warrants. At about the same time, there were calls into police about a red sedan being driven recklessly and, according to one report, reaching a speed of 100 mph over the Needham Street bridge.
Reeves said that, according to witnesses, the driver was speeding west on Kansas toward Emerald when it went into the eastbound lane to avoid stopped traffic. It then entered the intersection at Emerald and struck the vehicle with the father and children.
That family’s vehicle smashed head-on into a power pole, which was sheared. The drive and his passenger, both from Modesto, were caught a short time later.
Reeves described the father’s and children’s injuries as non-life-threatening.