Close call for woman who witnessed short chase in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Deputies are investigating a pursuit and crash in East Central Fresno. It happened around three thirty Wednesday morning at Sierra Vista between McKenzie and Nevada.

Tony Botti, Public Information Officer, with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said that a deputy was in the area of Chestnut and Thomas.

Botti note the deputy saw the driver commit a traffic violation.

The deputy tried to pull over the driver. However, the driver sped off leading deputies on a short chase.

"About a minute later that car had crashed into another car that was parked," he explained.

The driver and his passenger were pinned in the truck.

Firefighters were called out to rescue the two and they were taken to the hospital. Botti explained the two are in serious but stable condition.

Officials identified as 19-year-old Ishtar Garcia and his passenger was not identified.

During the time of the crash, there was a report of a robbery at a nearby 7-Eleven. Botti mentioned this short chase was not related to the reported robbery.

The owner of that Honda, Maria Perez, said she was already up early for work and narrowly missed being in the crash.

"I started crying because I was just minutes away from being-- seconds from being inside. So as soon as I heard the blast I just started crying. Because I would have been in the hospital right now or would have been-- yeah."
Perez is still shaken up, even hours after the crash.

"I'm still shaking. I'm still in disbelief. I'm still in disbelief," she said.

It's not known why Garcia drove away from the deputy.

"Obviously if we get a chance to talk to him or his passenger more we'll learn more about why he ran from us," Botti said.

However, Garcia did have an outstanding DUI warrant.

It's unclear if drugs or alcohol were a factor in this crash.

Garcia was electronically booked into the jail.

"We just hope people take a look at an incident like this. This could have easily ended by the driver just pulling over letting out deputy talk with him." Botti went on to say, "Instead he puts his life, his passenger, and a poor innocent family's life in jeopardy by taking off and behaving like this".
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