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Youth counselor killed during Baldwin Park police pursuit

June 18, 2010 |  1:04 pm

A youth counselor on his way to pick up his paycheck was killed Friday morning in a collision with a vehicle being chased by Baldwin Park police, his co-workers and authorities said.

Walter Williams, 37, was driving north on Francisquito Avenue about 9:30 a.m. when he was struck by a blue sport utility vehicle at the intersection with Ramona Boulevard, said Don Gutierrez of Eggleston Youth Center, the nonprofit social service agency where Williams worked.

At least two police cars had been pursuing the stolen vehicle for more than two miles and were headed west when the accident occurred, Baldwin Park Police Lt. David Reynoso said. Williams was ejected from the vehicle, and his car was engulfed in flames, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Several Eggleston employees who were also arriving to pick up paychecks rushed to Williams and attempted to stamp out the flames on his clothes, Gutierrez said. The police vehicles did not appear to have activated their lights or sirens, he said.

"Every time we are in pursuit, we do have our lights and sirens on," Reynoso said.

After the collision, the suspect abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot, but he was quickly detained by officers with the help of onlookers.

Williams worked with juveniles on probation and foster children. He had been a full-time employee of Eggleston for about a month.

-- Corina Knoll