Three people were killed Saturday after the car they were in crashed into a passing taxi, ending a high-speed police chase that began just a few minutes before, authorities say.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Vu Williams said the police chase began after an officer tried to pull over the driver of a white Chevrolet who was seen rotating in circles and making "doughnuts" in the middle of a neighborhood street, reported Newsmax. However, instead of stopping as instructed, the driver sped off, leaving officers with little choice but to give chase.
Police began their pursuit but soon stopped after the car began racing through red lights. Moments later, the car crashed into a taxi and burst into flames, stopping the vehicle dead in its tracks and killing all three passengers inside.
When questioned about why the police would engage in a chase only to disengage soon afterward, Williams explained that the decision was prompted by the amount of people that had been in the area due to Super Bowl activities, according to NBC's Alabama affiliate WSFA.
"...[T]he officer made a judgment call to end the pursuit because of the people out on the streets due to Super Bowl activities. About 2 miles from where the chase began, thousands were in Super Bowl City waiting to see Alicia Keys perform and Metallica was playing at AT&T Park, six blocks from where the white sedan was first spotted," he said.
He said the risks of continuing the chase outweighed stopping the vehicle, according to the Spreadit.
The taxi driver had minor injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital, and the three who were killed in the incident were not publicly identified. Family members of the victims say the trio had been there to attend the NFL Experience at the Moscone Center and were driving back home.
Police are investigating the circumstances of the crash.