Police chases can often end in accidents, which are a lot more common than most people think. When a criminal is trying to escape, and the police are in pursuit, there is often little thought for other innocent drivers or pedestrians – or even pets. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time shouldn’t cost lives.
NBC News reports that a woman with a dog-walking business and the six dogs she was caring for were killed in Long Beach after the driver of a stolen van attempting to evade police crashed into her vehicle.
The woman, Jessica Bingaman, 41, was driving her Ford Escape with six dogs in her car in a residential neighborhood when the driver of the stolen van hit her vehicle and several other parked vehicles on the street.
Eyewitnesses to the incident said that the white van was traveling at a high rate of speed and hit Bingaman’s vehicle with such force, that it pushed her car into three others.
Bingaman was taken to an area hospital for treatment and later died from injuries sustained in the crash. Four of the dogs in the car died at the scene, and two were taken to a veterinary hospital. One later died, while the other dog still has serious injuries.
Police had been pursuing a van that was reported stolen earlier. When attempting to pull the vehicle over, the suspect in the case, Javier Olivarez, refused to pull over. Police chased Olivarez approximately one mile before the crash occurred.
Olivarez was arrested at the scene of the accident and is currently facing the charges of felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter, and other related charges.