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Fifth child dies in police pursuit crash near Fresno

August 10, 2009 |  2:43 pm

A fifth child has died in that police pursuit near Fresno that ended in a deadly collision, officials said today.

The death Sunday of 8-year-old Carlos Eric Salazar brought the death toll to eight in the Tulare County crash. The boy was one of five siblings killed when a motorist fleeing police ran a stop sign and crashed into a pickup truck, killing himself and two male passengers.

The other children in the truck were identified as Jocelyn Salazar, 7, Monique Salazar, 4, Michael Salazar, 3 and Sienna Salazar, 1. The four were thrown from the truck and died at the scene. None of the children was said to have been properly restrained.

CHP Officer Chris Wright said the 2005 Dodge Neon that carried the fleeing suspects had been carjacked. When an officer tried to pull the car over for a traffic infraction Saturday afternoon, the driver led authorities on a chase. The car ran a stop sign and slammed into a 1997 GMC Sierra pickup truck, carrying a couple and their five children. No one in the truck was wearing seat belts.

Carlos Salazar Jr., 29, and Jennifer Salazar, 26, were at a Fresno hospital today with minor to moderate injuries. The crash occurred at the intersection of Avenue 424 and Road 120, about four miles from where a Dinuba, Calif., police officer tried to pull over the suspects.

The motorist allegedly ran a stop sign on East Nebraska Avenue and then sped through a second stop sign, crashing into the pickup truck carrying the family, Wright said. All three men in the car died at the scene, and one was thrown from the car. Authorities have not identified the men.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

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