Reporting Anjali Hemphill
STOCKTON (CBS13) – Not even old enough to have a driver’s license, two teenagers were killed in a car accident after leading officers on a high-speed chase.
Investigators say the 13-year-old behind the wheel of a stolen car and his 15-year-old passenger were killed after they crashed into the wall of the Rasputin Music store. A memorial now sits where they were killed, and friends are devastated.
“It broke our hearts when we found out; it was too much,” friend Alicia Jones said.
Shock still hasn’t set in for friends of the teens who died early Saturday morning.
“He was very respectful,” said Jones. “He was kind to everybody.”
California Highway Patrol says the teens were spotted by deputies driving a 1994 Honda Accord down Thornton Road near Lucile Road in a reckless manner.
“The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and passing other vehicles using the left turn lane,” CHP Officer James Smith said.
When deputies tried to pull them over, they say the driver kept going, leading them on a chase.
“The pursuit itself lasted less than a minute and less than one mile,” said Smith.
Deputies say the car veered off the road, went over several curbs and bushes before hitting the wall of the Rasputin Music store on Pacific Avenue, narrowly missing several gas pumps at the Chevron station next door.
“It is a straight roadway there, it’s unsure exactly why they left the roadway,” said Smith.
Officials say the 13-year-old driver died at the scene. The 15-year-old passenger died a short time later at a nearby hospital. They were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
CHP says the car was reported stolen a few days earlier.
“It puts everyone in danger anytime they fail to yield, and in this situation, unfortunately they lost their lives as a result of it,” said Smith.
The identities of the teens have not yet been released. However, CHP says alcohol was not a factor.