Stolen identification leads to crash ID confusion

December 24, 2009 7:38:09 PM PST
A case of mistaken identity gave the parents of a young Bay Area man the scare of the lives. Police showed-up at their front door and said their son had been killed in a horrific car wreck. As it turns out, he was not the victim of an accident, but he was the victim of a crime.

The investigation took a turn Thursday that no one expected when the sheriff's department revealed that after searching the wreckage and finding the identification of those who had died, deputies knocked on a door to tell parents their son had been killed in that horrific crash when in fact he had not. Few could have known the full extent of the events leading up to the fatal crash.

"It's been extremely hard especially knowing the type of person he was and how much he enjoyed his family," Chelsey Figueroa, a friend of one of the victims, said.

Now, investigators say those victims were not so sweet; that about an hour before they died, they had pointed a handgun at three innocent people and stole their wallets. Authorities say the gunmen then jumped in a Mazda driven by 22-year-old Leo Olguin, a parolee whom authorities say had just skipped out of a halfway house.

Not knowing about the robbery, a deputy noticed the car moving erratically and began the pursuit that ended in the fatal crash on A Street in Hayward.

"We now believe the reason why Mr. Olguin ran is because they had done a robbery earlier," Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department said. "He was legally drunk and he was trying to evade being arrested and being sent back to jail or prison."

Perhaps the biggest surprise was yet to come. Using identification they found on the crash victims, authorities went to notify the parents they thought were the surviving relatives.

"The deputies had those IDs and thought those were the people who were killed; they went to the house of the person they thought were deceased, talking to the parents and explaining that they thought their son had been involved in a fatal accident, the parents said their son was in the bedroom," Nelson said.

And he was, safe and sound, except for the robbery where his identification was stolen.

"The victims of the robbery didn't report it because they were scared, scared that the people who robbed them would find them and do something to them," Nelson said.

Two females who were in the car remain in critical condition. The pair who died has been identified as 18-year-old Dominic Hall of Hayward and 17-year-old Andrew Falcon of Livermore, the ones accused of pulling the armed robbery. Investigators are defending the pursuit and blame the driver for the fatal crash.


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