A 20-year-old suspect, trying to evade police in a stolen vehicle during a pursuit in California on March 23, got into a collision that initially killed a woman who was riding in a car with 6-year-old twin sons. The twins also sustained severe injuries from the crash, but one of them was pronounced dead on Monday, CBS News reported.
The suspect, identified as Ralph Ellsworth White III, was engaging a Hercules police cruiser in a chase when he crashed into a Nissan sedan. The sedan was being driven by a mother whose twin sons were also in the vehicle. She died shortly after the crash, while her sons sustained severe injuries, but one of the minors later succumbed to his injuries. Authorities said the collision occurred at Parker Avenue and Fourth Street in Rodeo.
“It is with great sorrow that I am confirming that the six-year-old child who was in critical condition has unfortunately passed away,” Hercules Police Chief Joseph Vazquez said in a press statement on Monday. “Our thoughts are with the family of the victims and the community during this difficult time. We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy, and that you keep them in your prayers.”
The deceased mother was identified as Ryniqueka Dowell in a GoFundMe that was set up by her family in the wake of the fatal collision. The fundraiser also stated that one of her twin sons – Jamari – had sustained critical injuries “without any brain activity.” The other twin, Jamani, suffered broken legs in addition to other injuries.
Following the collision, White exited the stolen Mazda SUV and fled the scene. He was later tracked down and arrested by authorities. He faces a slew of charges including vehicular manslaughter, possession of a stolen vehicle, and three counts of pursuit causing death or great bodily injury.
Meanwhile, a cousin of the deceased mother told ABC7 that police need to stop pursuits “when a car gets into a residential neighborhood.” “They don’t care. They never stop chasing them. They need to stop chasing them. If the police had stopped chasing them, then this would never have happened,” she added.
Another individual who rushed to the scene of the accident to help also registered his worries over police chases on Parker Avenue. “Whenever they get chased, they always want to run out this way, go towards the projects, or go down and try to ditch the police. But there (are) a couple a week. At least a couple a week. Sometimes, there is more. It’s wild,” he said. “But it is dangerous.”