California

Driver led cops on chase right into home for disabled adults — on purpose, Calif. officials say

A driver being pursued by Alameda County deputies drove into a home for disabled adults in San Leandro on June 26, trapping the driver and hitting a person in the facility — and leaving the entire residence uninhabitable, fire officials said.
A driver being pursued by Alameda County deputies drove into a home for disabled adults in San Leandro on June 26, trapping the driver and hitting a person in the facility — and leaving the entire residence uninhabitable, fire officials said. Alameda County Sheriff's Office

The driver was likely going through “a mental health crisis” — and it sent him and his car crashing into a residential care facility for disabled adults where he lived, authorities said.

Deputies in San Leandro, California, spotted a man driving erratically and unsafely on Tuesday just before 10 p.m., according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. But when deputies tried to pull the driver over, he sped off and led them on a chase.

The chase ended abruptly: The driver pointed his car at the residential facility (where he appears to be a resident, according to deputies) and intentionally sped straight into the home’s east outside wall, breaking the structure and forcing his car three-quarters of the way into the building, photos show.

Authorities said the man could have been trying to end his life.

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Firefighters respond to the Tuesday night crash. Alameda County Fire Department

There were eight adult residents in the home when the car came crashing in — and one of them was hit by the man’s vehicle, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies said the victim was “surprisingly uninjured.”

The wreck left the driver trapped inside his car, according to Alameda County Fire Department.

Getting the driver out was no easy feat, because first responders had to clear the wreckage and make sure the wall and building didn’t collapse before freeing him.

Both patients (the driver and the victim hit inside) were taken to a area hospitals, and the driver was given psychiatric treatment deputies said.

The driver was not arrested, but criminal charges will be considered later.

Firefighters then patched up the building a bit, including covering the wall with plywood.

Still, the home is uninhabitable. That means the developmentally disabled residents are temporarily in need of a new home, according to the fire department.

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Firefighters begin working to shore up the building structurally after removing the car. Alameda County Fire Department

The Red Cross is helping the residents find a place live short-term. Fire officials said the owner is scrambling to find a long-term solution.

Suicide is on the rise across the United States. It is more than a mental health condition — states and communities can adopt comprehensive strategies to prevent suicide.

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