Two people died from injuries they suffered when a vehicle being chased by police in La Verne slammed into another vehicle and a total of three passengers in the two cars were hospitalized this morning in critical condition.
Officers spotted a red Acura Integra fail to stop at a stop sign and at a red light in the area of White Avenue and Arrow Highway at 8:50 p.m. Thursday and when police attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver fled northbound on White Avenue from First Street. A brief pursuit then began, according to a statement from the La Verne Police Department.
The chase lasted less than a mile and ended when the Integra crashed into a black Toyota Corolla near the intersection of White Avenue and College Lane, police said.
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Paramedics transported two people in the Corolla and three people in the Integra to a hospital where both drivers were pronounced dead and the three other passengers were in critical condition, police said.
The driver of the Corolla was identified as Marlet Reyes, 68, of La Verne.
"She was an exceptional woman, dedicated to family," said her niece Claudia Perez. Reyes cared for her 100-year-old mother, and also watched her two grandchildren while her daughter was at work, Perez said.
Family members identified the injured woman in the car with Reyes as her roommate, Thelma LLovido, and said the two were on their way to Church when they were struck.
Authorities have not disclosed the names of the Integra driver who died, nor his two surviving passengers.
White Avenue between College Lane and Towne Center Drive was closed until about 7 a.m. Friday while an investigation was conducted, police said.
The crash was being investigated by the California Highway Patrol's Major Accident Investigation Team.
Anyone who witnessed the crash was asked to call the La Verne Police Department at 909-596-1913.
A friend of the Reyes family has posted a GoFundMe page to raise funds to cover memorial expenses.