Bay Area Police Pursuit Ends in Death of Innocent Bystander

As we reported earlier today, a parolee fled in a pickup truck yesterday after Concord police tried to stop him for talking on a cell phone crashed into a car and killed the driver. More information has just been released on the accident. At around 6 p.m. yesterday an officer saw a man in a white pickup truck talking on his cell phone without the required hands-free device and tried to pull him over, according to reports.

The man, who has been identified as Mauro Gutierrez, age 25, of Concord refused to stop, which caused the officer to pursue him by chasing him. Tragically, the pursuit ended when Gutierrez crashed into a 1985 BMW on Solano Way near Highway 242. The man driving the BMW died as a result of the crash. Gutierrez then exited his car and fled on foot and was apprehended and arrested a short time later. He was booked at Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez on suspicion of manslaughter, being a felon in possession of a firearm (as a gun was found in his truck), evading arrest, causing great bodily injury or death, vehicle theft and obstructing police.A gun was found in the truck, authorities said. The case is under investigation by police and the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office and the driver’s death will also be the subject of a coroner’s inquest.

It turns out the news of innocent motorists being killed in accidents caused by suspects being chased by the police is nothing out of the ordinary. Recently, throughout the Bay Area, places like Berkeley, El Sobrante, Hayward and San Francisco have become familiar with this kind of tragedy. Most law-enforcement agencies allow officers to chase suspects in stolen cars or those wanted for serious crimes. According to Concord police, it was unclear why Gutierrez allegedly fled when they tried to stop him. They investigated details of the chase, including how long it lasted and how fast the suspect was going, and it appears the officer acted within policy. Lt. Darrell Graham stated to the media, “When people choose to flee from the police, it sets into motion a very unpredictable and potentially set of circumstances. Our sympathies go out to the victim and his family.”

This would be a good time to point out the public safety issue of police pursuits, as they are a major threat to anyone on the road-including pedestrians and bicyclists. According to statistics nearly one in four chases statewide ends in a crash-something to be hyper aware of because they occur hourly. So a crash as result of a police chase could happen potentially every day. After an unrelated incident earlier this month, Police Chief Al Franz of the San Diego Police Department told the media that police chases are the most dangerous things they do. Remember that next time you head out the door to you next destination, especially if you hear a police siren.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a car accident, contact our firm for a free consultation. Our dedicated and highly qualified personal injury attorney has over 10 years experience fighting for the rights of victims and their families. He will work hard to get you the compseation you deserve and works on a contingency fee basis, which means he does not collect any money for your accident, then you don’t pay. You should never have to pay due to the negligence of another.