RODEO, Calif. (KGO) -- A mother was killed and her 6-year-old twins severely injured after a suspect in a stolen Mazda SUV crashed into their car in Hercules during a pursuit Thursday night, according to police.
According to police, they were informed that the SUV was headed toward Hercules. An officer spotted the vehicle exit I-80 eastbound. When the officer caught up to the driver, the driver sped off and a police pursuit followed.
"When a car gets into a residential neighborhood, they need to stop chasing the cars," says a female cousin of the mother, who did not want to be identified. "They don't care. They never stop chasing them. They need to stop chasing them. If the police had stopped chasing them, then this would never have happened."
Surveillance video shows the moment when the driver of the SUV crashed into the mom at the intersection of Parker Avenue and Fourth Street in Rodeo.
"It was the most horrific thing I (have) ever seen in my life. It was terrible," explains Yadbindra "Tony" Dhillon. He was leaving his restaurant when he witnessed the crash.
The accident happened in front of Lewis Porter's house on Parker Avenue. He was one of the first on scene.
"I heard the little boy yelling in the car. So I just ran straight to the car. I just tried to hold the little boy. And, two people didn't look too good in the car. I am praying for them. I know the mom didn't make it," says Porter.
Police say the two boys were taken to Children's Hospital in Oakland. The family and the hospital were not able to provide an update on the two boys' condition.
Like the victim's family, Porter says he is concerned about police chases on Parker Avenue.
"Whenever they get chased, they always want to run out this way, go towards the projects, or go down and try to ditch the police. But there (are) a couple a week. At least a couple a week. Sometimes, there is more. It's wild," says Porter. "But it is dangerous."
Surveillance video also shows the 20-year-old suspect, who police identify as Ralph Ellsworth White III, running from the scene. He was later found at a nearby liquor store and arrested. He was taken to the Martinez Detention Facility and has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, possession of a stolen vehicle, and three counts of pursuit causing death or great bodily injury.
Hercules police were not available to comment on its police chase policy or residents' concerns about the number of chases.
"The whole community, right now, is all shook up. Praying, hopefully, the other child is safe," says Dhillon.
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