Wrong-way driver crashes into car, killing two people in stolen car pursuit
Originally published as a Yuba County press release –
“On September 15th just before 2 p.m., our law enforcement partners, the Marysville Police Department, received a license plate reader (ALPR) notification from a truck pulling a stolen trailer at Simpson Lane and Ramirez Street and contacted the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office to report that the vehicle was entering our jurisdiction.
Deputies responded to the area and about 10 minutes later a sergeant found the vehicle and tried to initiate a traffic stop. However, the driver refused to comply, and a pursuit ensued. During this pursuit, the driver displayed reckless driving and proceeded to enter Highway 70 at the Olivehurst Avenue off-ramp going the wrong way, against traffic.
The driver then hit two vehicles killing two people in one car. The suspect took off on foot before being detained and taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
The victims killed in the collision were identified as Linda residents Cary Ojeda, 55; and Deanna Hernandez, 36. The two were mother and daughter.
The suspect, 25-year-old Chase Hammonds of Yuba City, is expected to be released from the hospital today and will face charges including auto theft, felony evading, crossing a divided highway, felony hit and run, and two counts of murder. Additionally, Hammonds will be booked on multiple violations of probation warrants for prior stolen vehicle cases.
“Deputies on scene performed life-saving measures on the two victims until medics arrived. I want to extend my sincere condolences to the family who are innocent victims in this tragedy,” said Yuba County Undersheriff Nick Morawcznski. “I can assure our community that our office will conduct a thorough investigation.”
The sergeant, who is a 21-year veteran of law enforcement, has been with the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office for two years. Per department protocol, the sergeant has been put on administrative leave. Our law enforcement partners at the California Highway Patrol are assisting in the accident investigation. The Yuba County Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Unit is investigating the pursuit to determine compliance with department policy. ”