SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – One person was killed, another has been arrested and two more have been hospitalized after the driver of a BMW started a high-speed chase on a freeway and then collided with a minivan on city streets in South San Jose early Monday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.
CHP officers started following the driver of the vehicle, identified as 28-year-old Alexander Zumini, at 3:15 a.m. on southbound Interstate Highway 280 near Seventh Street after they noticed Zumini allegedly driving erratically, CHP Officer Ross Lee said.
After following Zumini south on Highway 280 to southbound U.S. Highway 101, the officers noticed Zumini continuing to drive erratically and attempted to pull him over. Lee said that Zumini refused to stop and fled at speeds of greater than 100 mph, hitting 120 mph and allegedly turning his lights off at one point in the chase.
Lee said Zumini then took the Yerba Buena Road off-ramp and ran the red light at the intersection, colliding with a minivan traveling on a green light on city streets with two men inside. The van came to rest against the sidewalk and the BMW came to rest on the southbound Highway 101 Yerba Buena Road on-ramp.
According to Lee, Zumini tried to flee the scene after the collision but was captured. The driver of the minivan was pronounced dead at the scene. A woman passenger in the BMW was taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.
The passenger, 27-year-old Melissa Dawn Vincent of San Jose, was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of stolen property and identity theft-related charges.
“This guy was driving at this speed before we even got to him. We are doing our very best to try to prevent this from happening. And unfortunately we weren’t able to do that in time,” CHP Captain Jason Reardon said.
A passenger of the minivan was also transported with serious injuries and is in critical condition Monday morning. Zumini was also transported to a hospital.
After his capture, officers on scene heard Zumini say he used drugs before taking the wheel.
“He admitted that prior to driving he had used methamphetamine and by his own admission, he fled the traffic enforcement stop because he was aware he had a felony warrant,” said Lee.
Zumini had an arrest warrant for a parole violation, in connection with charges of being an accessory to a felony with gang enhancements, and also sale of narcotics.
Zumini will be charged with gross vehicle manslaughter, DUI causing serious injury, felony hit-and-run, felony evading a police officer, possession of methamphetamine for sale along with the original parole violation.
The CHP said it was standing by its officers involved in the chase.
“There’s one person responsible for this horrific event, and that’s Mr. Zumini. Had he stopped like millions of people do across the state every day, this never would have happened.”
Yerba Buena Road was closed in both directions at the Highway 101 underpass, during the investigation.
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