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Police: Four vehicles hit in car chase

CERES — A car being chased by police Friday crashed into four other vehicles on the Hatch Road overpass before the driver ran, only to be arrested within minutes, authorities reported.

The chase started shortly before 4:30 p.m. after Ceres police responded to a report of possible drug sales at a home in the 1700 block of Richland Avenue.

Ceres police Sgt. Jim Kempvanee said officers spotted a Chevrolet Monte Carlo leaving the area and followed it to Hatch Road near the Home Depot. That's where officers tried to get the driver to stop.

But instead of stopping, the Monte Carlo went west on Hatch into south Modesto, driving onto the Highway 99 overpass and reaching speeds of about 50 mph, Kempvanee said.

On the overpass, the fleeing vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer rig, a van, a silver compact car and a green Ford Thunderbird, all traveling west on Hatch, he said.

After the driver got out and ran, the Monte Carlo continued to roll and crashed at the bottom of the overpass embankment. The other vehicles stayed on the overpass.

Kempvanee said the driver of the Monte Carlo ran down Morgan Road, tossing away a pistol and a large bag of white powder along the way. Officers caught up to him less than a block away on Midway Avenue near Atlantic Drive.

Police arrested Luis Gooden, 28, who told police he was from Maryland and was attempting to relocate to Ceres.

Kempvanee said Gooden faces charges of felony evading police and possession of a handgun. He said other charges are likely.

A woman riding in the silver compact car appeared to have a broken right arm, Kempvanee said. No other injuries were reported.

Officers recovered the pistol and the bag of white powder, but it was unknown what was inside the bag.

Police closed Hatch Road, between and Morgan Road and Herndon Avenue, for about 90 minutes as police and California Highway Patrol officers investigated the crash.

To comment, click on the link with this story at www.modbee.com. Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

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