LANCASTER – A two-year-old girl is dead and her mother is clinging to life after the vehicle they were riding in collided with a reckless driver fleeing police, authorities said.
The fatal collision happened around 4:56 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 6) in the intersection of 10th Street West and Avenue I in Lancaster, according to Lancaster Station Traffic Sergeant Paul Pfrehm.
A 37-year-old Lancaster woman was driving a blue Lexus northbound on 10th Street West , when a 45-year-old Palmdale man driving a black Toyota westbound on Avenue I ran a red light and slammed into the woman’s vehicle, Pfrehm said.
The man had been fleeing deputies at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour at the time of the collision, Pfrehm said.
He said the brief pursuit began when deputies attempted to stop the man after they spotted him driving recklessly and running a red light on Sierra Highway and Avenue J.
“They did not try to pursue at the time because their vehicle didn’t have overhead lights,” Pfrehm said. “They put it out on the radio that there was a vehicle northbound on Sierra at a high rate of speed, and another unit saw him and got in behind him at about Sierra and [Avenue] I.”
Pfrehm said the man was running numerous red lights during the pursuit, which continued westbound on Avenue I.
“The deputies were a considerable distance behind the vehicle when he ran the red light and struck the vehicle in the intersection,” Pfrehm said.
The woman and her daughter suffered massive trauma to the upper body, and were transported to the hospital by ambulance, where the child succumbed to her injuries, Pfrehm said.
The suspect was surrounded by several deputies with guns drawn and a sheriff’s helicopter overhead. He raised his hands out the vehicle in apparent surrender and was handcuffed on the ground by deputies.
The suspect was arrested for felony vehicular manslaughter and transported to the hospital in serious condition, Pfrehm said.
“If you kill somebody while trying to evade a law enforcement officer in pursuit of you, it’s going to be a vehicular manslaughter charge,” Pfrehm said.
Pfrehm said the police pursuit lasted less than a minute.
“It was a very short duration pursuit and the sheriff’s vehicle was never close to the suspect’s vehicle,” Pfrehm said. “He was a considerable distance in front of us.”
It is unknown at this time if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision. The suspect’s name and the names of the victims have not been released.
Sheriff’s Detectives continue to investigate this fatal collision, and ask if anyone has information regarding this incident, to contact the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station Traffic Enforcement Team at 661-948-8466
The two-year-old girl who passed away has been identified as Madison Ruano.
Loved ones have created a facebook page to honor Maddie’s memory here.