Car fleeing Calif. police hits pickup, killing 8


Editor’s Note:

Editor's note: CNN.com has just reported that the death toll climbed to eight in the crash tied to a police pursuit. An 8-year-old injured in Saturday's crash died at a hospital that night, said John Maxfield of the California Highway Patrol. Four of the five children in the pickup -- ages 1, 3, 4 and 7 -- were ejected and died at the scene. Three adults also were killed, and the fifth child, the 8-year-old, was airlifted to a hospital before dying.

By Evelyn Nieves
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A stolen car fleeing from police ran a stop sign and slammed into a pickup in California's Central Valley, killing four young children in the truck and all three people in the car, police said Sunday.

The Dodge Neon was carjacked either late Friday or early Saturday in Selma, about 10 miles from Dinuba, where Saturday afternoon's crash took place, Dinuba police Sgt. Thaddeus Ashford said. No other details on the carjacking were available, he said.

The four children were thrown from the truck, authorities said. None of the children in the truck were wearing seat belts or any restraints, California Highway Patrol Officer Felipe Martinez said.

A fifth child from the truck, Carlos Eric Salazar, 8, was airlifted to Community Regional Hospital in Fresno with major injuries. Dinuba is about 33 miles southeast of Fresno.

The children's parents, Carlos Salazar, Jr., 29, and Jennifer Salazar, 26, were also injured. One was airlifted to Community Regional with major injuries, the other taken by ambulance to the same hospital with moderate injuries, Martinez said. He wasn't sure which parent suffered the major injuries.

The three men who fled from Dinuba police died at the scene and haven't been identified, Martinez said. None of them were carrying identification, he said.

The four children who died were: Jochelyn Grace Salazar, 7; Monique Janae Salazar, 4; Michael Alexander Salazar, 3; and Sienna Rose Salazar, 1, the patrol said.

Dinuba Police haven't identified the officer involved in the car chase, and Ashford said he couldn't comment on whether the officer knew during the pursuit that the Neon had been stolen.

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