A power pole saved the lives of two women in Rio Linda on Wednesday afternoon after a high-speed chase through a residential neighborhood ended with a crash and a fleeing driver, said Chad Hertzell, California Highway Patrol spokesman.
The chase started about 12:45 p.m. as a red Toyota pickup truck was seen by a CHP helicopter traveling at 103 mph westbound on Q Street, Hertzell said.
A nearby CHP patrol car got behind the truck as it approached Orchard Elementary School on Q Street between 10th Street and Dry Creek Road. Hertzell said the officer turned on the vehicle’s sirens and attempted to stop the truck. The driver then tried to take a left turn onto 10th Street.
“He was going way too fast,” Hertzell said.
The truck drove onto the sidewalk and in between the bushes of a nearby home and a power pole. On the other side of the pole stood two women, who neighbors said sold food out of a small cart.
“All of her food was all over the ground,” said Phoebe Cormany, whose home overlooks the intersection of 10th and Q streets. “She was covered in blood.”
Hertzell said the driver of the truck, which was discovered to have been stolen, tried to run away after the crash.
Cormany said she heard a loud boom from the crash and saw an officer attempting to detain a man in a yard across from her house.
“He was on the ground,” Cormany said of the driver. “The police officer was on top of him and he was still fighting.”
Hertzell said an officer was sent to a hospital to tend to minor scratches from the altercation with the driver, who was not identified. The two woman were also sent to the hospital with minor injuries, he said. The home directly next to the power pole did not have electricity following the crash, he said.
Michelle Williams, another neighbor, said it was common to hear cars speeding down Q Street at night. She said she was glad that the accident didn’t take place minutes later, as students from Orchard Elementary School got out at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
“It’s amazing that no one was seriously injured,” Hertzell said.
The driver of the truck was in custody Wednesday afternoon. Hertzell said he could be facing several felony charges, including a hit-and-run and evading a police officer.