A dramatic car chase early Sunday morning ended in a crash in Morgan Hill and the arrest of both the driver of the fleeing vehicle and the passenger by the California Highway Patrol.
Alma Hernandez, 25, of San Jose and Jose J. Navarro, 32, of Madera were arrested when Hernandez attempted to outrun CHP officers after being pulled over on Highway 101 for speeding just after midnight on Sunday.
Hernandez was charged with DUI, auto theft, assaulting an officer and assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon. Navarro was charged with receiving a stolen vehicle, resisting or obstructing an officer and a parole violation. Both were taken to Santa Clara County Jail.
According to the CHP report, Hernandez was driving a stolen 2003 Chevy pickup northbound on Highway 101 near the Coyote Creek Golf Course when she was stopped by an officer for driving 96mph on a 65mph zone. The officer asked Hernandez to pull to the bottom of the exit ramp because the pickup was stopped in an unsafe location.
As she moved the pickup down the ramp, Hernandez accelerated quickly, according to the report, running two stop signs as she drove on the ramp to re-enter southbound on U.S. 101.
As the CHP officer followed up the ramp, Hernandez reversed the pickup, ramming the patrol car, according to the report, then continued onto Hwy. 101, traveling between 85mph and 105mph, switching between lanes and driving on both shoulders, “very recklessly” to pass other vehicles.
When the pickup reached the E. Dunne Ave. off-ramp in Morgan Hill, Hernandez exited at 87mph. The officer’s report said she passed three vehicles on the shoulder, then drove through the red light at the intersection at the top of the ramp and crashed into the center median.
Hernandez and Navarro fled on foot, according to the report. Morgan Hill Police responded, as well as Sheriff’s Office deputies with a K9 team. Fifteen officers were involved in the search for the suspects. Hernandez was found in a dumpster at the Shell gas station by a CHP officer. Navarro was arrested in a parking lot of a business on Joleen Road by a CHP officer.
“The officers assisted CHP with traffic control after the suspects crashed coming off the Dunne Ave. off-ramp and helped search the area for the two suspects,” MHPD Cmdr. Terrie Booten said. “From time to time, officers from different agencies provide support to the local agency in situations like this one. In the end, CHP got their man and woman.”
There were no injuries reported. The results of blood tests for alcohol and drugs taken were not available.
Marilyn Dubil covers education and law enforcement for The Times. Reach her at (408) 779-4106 ext. 202 or at email@example.com.