FRESNO (AP) — Three people were killed in a fiery crash when a motorist fleeing a sheriff’s deputy at around 100 miles an hour collided with multiple cars in central California, authorities said.
The driver of a black Chevy Camaro sped away after the Fresno County deputy tried to pull him over for reckless driving late Saturday.READ MORE: UPDATE: Investigation Finds San Leandro Officers Didn't Follow Use of Force, Taser Policies in Fatal Walmart Shooting
When the suspect exited State Route 41, the deputy backed off the chase over safety concerns after the Camaro fishtailed and ran a red light near downtown Fresno, police said.
The violent collisions happened moments later, with at least seven vehicles involved in the deadly crash, and five ending up engulfed in flames, the Fresno Bee reported.READ MORE: Bouncing Back? New Unemployment Claims In California Down Drastically
Video footage of the scene showed emergency crews scrambling to pull people from burning cars as the fire intensified, according to the newspaper.
Police identified Francisco Portillo of Fresno as the driver of the Camaro. Portillo and his girlfriend, who was in the car, were hospitalized in critical but stable condition, officials said.
Fresno Police Lt. Israel Reyes said Portillo, 20, could face charges including vehicular manslaughter. It wasn’t known Sunday if Portillo has an attorney.MORE NEWS: San Jose Launches 'SJ Aspires' College Tuition Assistance Program For 700 Students
Reyes said the three people killed were all believed to be adults, but identifications were not immediately available.