Child Dies After Dad Chases Down Suspected Thief

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Aug 4, 2011  |  Updated 4:22 PM PDT
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Child Dies After Dad Chases Down Suspected Thief

This is what was left of the SUV after it overturned along Highway 101 in Salinas.

A little girl died this week after her father attempted to chase down a pickup truck on Highway 101 in Salinas that he thought was carrying his stolen motorcycle, investigators told KSBW Thursday.

The crash happened Wednesday afternoon. Police said Luis Armando Molina, 33, of Salinas, was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban SUVS on Highway 101 when he spotted a motorcycle in the back of a pickup truck.

Luis Molina's wife, three daughters aged 2, 5, and 6, and his 10-year-old son were all riding in the SUV.

He started chasing the driver and crashed as he was attempting to get around slower traffic by driving on the shoulder.

The SUV flipped over on impact, throwing the 6-year-old Xitlali Molina to her death. His wife was also hurt and is now recovering in a South Bay hospital. The other family members, including the father were not seriously hurt.

The little girl was riding in the back seat and was the only person thrown from the Suburban during the crash. Investigators are focusing on determining if she was properly buckled in a child restraining seat, KSBW reported.

The pickup truck driver fled the scene. On Thursday, CHP officers were still searching for the driver and the gray pickup truck with tinted windows.
 

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