San Jose Mercury News
July 13, 2010. The San Jose Traffic Investigation Unit collects evidence near the red Mitsubishi Mirage involved in a crash in San Jose. A black Honda Civic traveling east on San Fernando St.. being pursued by the CHP, crashed into a red Mitsubishi Mirage traveling South on N. 10th street. A 15-year-old girl was ejected from the Mirage and two boys in the back seat had to be extricated. (LiPo Ching/Mercury News)
A 15-year-old girl died Wednesday after the car she was riding in was struck by a driver fleeing the California Highway Patrol in San Jose. Word of her death came at noon. Her 12-year-old brother remains in critical condition.
The chase began around 4 p.m. Tuesday when authorities say 24-year-old Bernardino Cuevas failed to stop after making an illegal right turn at a red light.
With the CHP in pursuit, Cuevas allegedly ran through a red light less than a mile away, broadsiding a Mitsubishi Mirage carrying the 15-year-old, her 6 and 12-year-old brothers and their 35-year-old mother. Emergency officials had to use the Jaws of Life to cut through the roof of the car and extricate the children.
The teenage girl who died was thrown from the vehicle. A woman who heard the crash said she saw the girl being tossed from the car. She told the Mercury News that it was the worst crash she has ever seen.
Police did not know how fast the Honda was traveling when it hit the family.
Authorities say the suspect, along with a female passenger in his car and the 35-year-old mother suffered minor to moderate injuries. The extent of the 6-year-old's injuries are not clear, but he was still in the hospital Thursday.
Authorities say they later discovered a felony warrant for Cuevas's arrest. The Mercury News says Cuevas has multiple convictions for drug use and was recently released from count jail. Police said after the crash, Cuevas ran away but CHP officers were able to chase him down.
San Jose police have a no pursuit policy unless there is a danger to public safety.
The San Jose Police Department's traffic investigation unit is handling the crash investigation, which could take up to several months, Officer Jose Garcia said. The CHP is investigating whether the officer who chased the Honda was acting within the CHP's pursuit protocol, Garcia said