Two people were killed and one person was injured Friday in a Northridge collision involving a motorist who was initially being chased by the California Highway Patrol, which broke off the pursuit shortly before the crash.
According to CHP Officer Tony Polizzi, an officer tried to pull over the driver of a 1997 white Toyota Paseo shortly after 1 a.m. at Reseda Boulevard and Chatsworth Street in Porter Ranch for speeding and expired registration tags.
The driver, 24-year-old Joseph Carretero, fled the scene, driving south on Reseda at high speeds and running at least two red lights, CHP Officer Weston Haver told reporters.
The CHP officer pursuing the motorist opted to break off the chase due to the suspect's erratic driving, but continued following from a distance, Haver said.
A short time later, the officer came upon the crash scene just south of Devonshire, where it appeared that Carretero had slammed into two SUVs parked outside a CVS pharmacy -- a 2007 Toyota RAV4 and a 2001 Honda CRV, the Highway Patrol said.
Carretero was ejected from the car and died at the scene, Haver said. A woman in her 60s inside the RAV4 was taken to Dignity Health- Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, according to the CHP. A passenger in the Paseo, a 20-year-old man, was taken to the same hospital with major injuries, Haver said.