SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The woman who was killed in a terrible early Sunday morning crash between an allegedly stolen car and a ride-share vehicle was identified Monday afternoon, according to authorities.
The suspected car thief ran a red light and slammed into a Lyft vehicle on Lawrence Expressway in Santa Clara early Sunday morning.
The passenger killed in the crash has been identified by the Santa Clara County Coroner as 28-year-old Santa Clara resident Carol Major. Friends say she worked for Apple.
Police said they decided to end a pursuit of the suspect just minutes before the fatal crash.
Late Saturday night, Sunnyvale police recognized a stolen 1996 Honda Accord in a strip mall parking lot on Duane Avenue.
Officers put spike strips underneath the tires hoping to avoid a chase and make an easy arrest.
At around 1:15 a.m., officers say 32-year-old suspect Claudio Perez got into that vehicle.
“As soon as he did that, the officers activated their lights and approached the vehicle to try and detain the suspect,” said Sunnyvale Police Captain Craig Anderson. “As soon as they did that, he sped through the parking lot.”
The spike strip failed to puncture the tires of the stolen vehicle after falling over and flattening out, allowing Perez to escape.
“It looks to us like instead of them puncturing the tire, they unfortunately — when the vehicle ran them over — they fell over and just kind of flattened,” Anderson said.
Sunnyvalle officers decided not pursue because they say Perez was driving way too fast.
Santa Clara police say Perez blew through a red light at Lawrence Expressway and Poinciana, broadsided a Lyft with Major and one other person inside.
“As the ride-share vehicle is making that left turn, the impact is on the rear passenger side door. Unfortunately where the female passenger was sitting,” said Santa Clara Police Capt. Wahid Kazem.
Major died at the hospital. The other passenger and driver also suffered serious injuries.
Perez, a resident of San Jose, has been booked into jail on murder, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs while causing an injury, evading a police officer and auto theft charges.
Investigators are asking that anyone who may have witnessed the crash to please contact Traffic Investigator Nick Cusimano at (408) 615-4764.
Andria Borba contributed to this report