Hemet pursuit – twice called off due to danger – ends in violent wreck in Perris
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Miguel Shannon / Epicenter News
Riverside County Gang Task Force members arrested a Hemet resident after the man allegedly led officers on a dangerous, high-speed vehicle chase Thursday night, April 14. Even though pursuing officers twice called off the pursuit for safety reasons, the fleeing driver ended up crashing his car into a truck in Perris.
The pursuit began about 8:20 p.m., after Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies from the Hemet Sheriff’s Station were dispatched to the 43100 block of Andrade Avenue in Valle Vista. The deputies were sent to the location after someone called 911 to report a fight was occurring in residential neighborhood. The area is located in an unincorporated area, east of Hemet.
As deputies arrived in the neighborhood, they spotted a white car fleeing the area at a high rate of speed, according to task force officials.
Deputies initially gave chase, however they terminated the pursuit just a few blocks later due to the extremely dangerous actions of the driver. Pursuing deputies called the chase off near Florida and New Chicago Avenues in Valle Vista.
A short time later, Gang Task force officers spotted the still recklessly speeding vehicle near Florida Avenue and Girard Street, in East Hemet. Task force officers took up pursuit of the fleeing car. In spite of having only one working headlight, Yates swerved into on-coming traffic, further endangering citizens and pursuing officers.
For safety reasons, officers once again called off the pursuit near Hwy. 74, east of Juniper Flats Road.
About 8 minutes after officers terminated their pursuit, officers learned of a collision possibly involving the vehicle.
Riverside County emergency communications dispatchers received several 911 calls from motorists and citizens reporting a violent, T-Bone traffic collision on westbound Hwy. 74 near the I-215 freeway.
“This area is approximately 5 miles west of where the vehicle pursuit was terminated,” according to a written statement from a Gang Task Force official.
Deputies, Gang Task Force members, California Highway Patrol Officers and other emergency first responders rushed to the area. Upon arrival they learned the vehicle that had previously been fleeing from them was involved in a traffic collision with a truck. The accident occurred when the driver of the fleeing vehicle, identified as Steven Yates, 19, of Hemet, caused the collision when he attempted to make a left turn in front of a truck.
Yates was detained by officers and medical aid was summoned for unspecified injuries he sustained in the collision. Paramedics treated him at the scene of the wreck before they transported him to the Riverside County Medical Center for further treatment.
During a follow-up investigation, deputies and task force members learned Yates was on summary probation for making criminal threats, according to task force officials.
Because Yates remains hospitalized, task force members will be submitting out-of-custody charges of felony battery, based on the first incident deputies responded to, as well as additional charges of felony evading and driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
As of this report, no court date has been set for Yates and he remains hospitalized.
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