A pursuit involving a stolen Tesla resulted in a fatal collision Saturday afternoon, leaving two dead and another injured.
At approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sacramento Police Department officers were chasing the stolen Tesla in the Arden-Arcade area. The chase was initially unsuccessful, but the vehicle's owner was able to pinpoint its location and inform authorities.
By 2:40 p.m., Sacramento County sheriff's deputies had resumed the pursuit near Armstrong Avenue and Von Karman Street. However, tragedy struck in the 8400 block of Kiefer Boulevard when the Tesla collided with a minivan.
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The sheriff's department reported that the collision killed one minivan occupant and the Tesla driver. Another person in the minivan sustained injuries.
On Monday, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office identified the deceased minivan passenger as 42-year-old Mashea Jordan and the Tesla driver as 26-year-old Aphis Nash.
The decision-making behind police pursuits often factors in the crime's severity and potential risks to the public. Sgt. Amar Gandhi from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office explained the challenge is that officers often aren't aware of a suspect's motivations, as was the case with Nash and the stolen Tesla. "The worst case scenario is kind of what we saw that night," Sgt. Gandhi commented regarding Saturday's fatal incident.
He further described that during pursuits, a trio of law enforcement figures - an officer, a watch supervisor, and a watch commander - collaborate to determine the most secure method of apprehending suspects. Sgt. Gandhi emphasized, "It is not just at the onset. It is during and as the situation evolves."
After the Sacramento Police lost sight of the Tesla around 2 p.m., the vehicle reappeared in the sheriff's office jurisdiction. At approximately 2:47 p.m., the pursuit recommenced when units attempted a traffic stop, but the Tesla managed to elude deputies.
Soon after, a helicopter identified the Tesla's crash site on Kiefer Boulevard. The collision trapped the minivan's occupants, necessitating a complex rescue. Justin Sylvia of Sacramento Fire detailed the scene, stating, "This was a very difficult extrication because the Tesla is down an embankment and the minivan is on top of it. We had to stabilize the minivan before we could even attempt to get to that Tesla." Firefighters ultimately rolled the vehicle's dash to free the entrapped victims.