Driver, passenger ID'd in deadly crash during police pursuit

4:58 PM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
Fatal crash at Pershing Avenue and Interstate 5 in Stockton following police pursuit, Dec. 11, 2012
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STOCKTON, CA - Stockton police released the names of two of those involved in a police pursuit Wednesday night that concluded with the death of a passenger.

The violent episode began at 6:50 p.m. with a man and a woman in a pick-up truck stopped in front of a 55-year-old man in a white Ford 150 extended cab pick-up stopped at American and First streets, police spokesman Officer Joe Silva said. The couple got into the Ford 150 with the man punching the driver several times before getting behind the wheel and driving to Hazelton Avenue and Aurora Street where they punched the victim out of the truck and drove away.

Police were alerted and at 9:46 p.m., Silva said a police sergeant in a patrol unit saw the victim's pick-truck parked on the 300 block of W. Oak Street. The sergeant reported seeing two men walk from the truck to a maroon 2001 Mitsubishi and start the car. The officer tried to pull the car over but the driver didn't stop and the drive on westbound Park Street at a high rate of speed. The sergeant observed the Mitsubishi's driver point something out of the window, saw a flash and heard multiple gunshots.

Several police units were in pursuit of the Mitsubishi. As its driver took Pershing Avenue to the northbound Interstate 5 on-ramp, he lost control of the car and it went airborne, smashing into a tree and flipping over, Silva said.

One of the passengers, 27-year-old Gabriela Garza Aparicio, of Stockton, died in the crash. A 22-year-woman and a 19-year-old man, whose names were not released, were trapped in the wreckage and extricated by Stockton firefighters. The two, who are from Stockton, were transported to the hospital with serious injuries, Silva said.

The driver, identified as 30-year-old Eric Nolan of Elk Grove, was also extricated from the car and was believed to have minor injuries, Silva said. Nolan was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder of a police officer, carjacking, kidnapping as part of a carjacking, and multiple narcotic and weapons charges.

Four police officers were placed on administrative leave as is standard procedure pending the Multi-Agency Protocol Investigation of what happened.


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