MODESTO (CBS13) — Two Bay Area men are locked up in Stanislaus County after a fatal early morning police chase.
It happened just before 2 a.m. and ended with two innocent people being killed. The deadly chase ended right at the corner of 14th and D, and loved ones of one the victims were there Saturday at a makeshift memorial.
“It’s an unforeseen tragedy that we did not expect. You always hear about it happening to other people but you never think you could happen to you,” said Victoria Brady, sister-in-law of Peter Gil.
The families of the victims are clinging together and struggling to cope with their loss. Thirty-one-year-old Peter Gil of Modesto, a father of four, is one the innocent people killed in the high-speed pursuit.
“He was a good man. He was a family man. He was a great father,” said Graciela Arellano, sister of Gil.
The chase started just before 2 a.m. near Briggsmore and Lakewood when a Modesto officer ran the plates of a suspect vehicle that turned out to be stolen.
When the officer tried to make a traffic stop police say the car sped off and the chase turned violent.
“During the pursuit, he (the officer) reported that shots were fired at him from the suspect vehicle on more than one occasion,” said Jamie Demings of the Modesto Police Department.
The pursuit went down Yosemite Boulevard but the suspects’ vehicle jumped the curb at 14th and D, crashing into people eating at a food truck.
Gil, and 32-year-old Melchor Leyva, also a father of four, were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Two Bay area suspects have been charged in the case. 24-year old Rodney Quiros of San Francisco and 22-year-old Antonio Gazo of Daily City. The day before father’s day, the family of Peter Gil is left with heartache and lots of questions.
“What if they just would have stayed in their own town? Why did they have to come here? What if the police would have apprehended the people in the chase earlier you know?” said Brady.
Perhaps some of their questions will be answered during the investigation. Friends of the Gil family are setting up a fundraiser.
They will have a food truck and a car wash at Vernon Avenue and Paradise Sunday and Monday and proceeds will go to help the families.