2 killed in Panorama City crash – lifelong friends ID’d as victims killed in a crash involving the driver of a stolen truck
According to KABC — Two lifelong friends in their 40s were identified as the two men killed when the driver of a stolen pickup truck slammed into their car in Panorama City while the suspect was fleeing from police.
Friends said the deceased victims were Tim Schultz and Chris Teagardin, who had known each other for well over 30 years.
“They were just fantastic,” said Stacy Spears, adding that Schultz has a daughter and Teagardin has a son. Spears described the victims’ deaths as “devastating” and “senseless, senseless, senseless.”
According to authorities, on Tuesday evening, officers attempted to pull over the driver of a black pickup truck that was reportedly stolen. The suspect suddenly took off, kicking off the chase.
The pursuit was making its way through the San Fernando Valley shortly before 8 p.m. when the driver, accompanied by several passengers, crashed into a silver sedan at the intersection of Lanark Street and Woodman Avenue.
“I heard a big bang, and I ran over to see if I can help the people,” a witness told ABC7. “It looks like it was already too late, and I saw the gentleman get out of the Tacoma and run that way.”
The innocent driver of the sedan and a passenger were both pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. They were later identified by coroner’s officials as two men, ages 47 and 49.
The Los Angeles Police Department said that due to the suspect’s dangerous driving, officers were in the process of going into tracking mode as a helicopter arrived on the scene of the chase. That’s when the crash occurred.
“This is a very tragic incident,” LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton told reporters. “We try to conduct these instances where we go in pursuit, as safely as possible, with all the tools that we have. That’s why we look at going in tracking mode as soon as we can.”
The chase suspect ran from the crash site, but was chased down by police officers in a nearby parking lot, authorities said, adding that officers used a Taser to take him down.
Police said a second suspect also tried to get away but was also taken into custody.
Investigators said a third person, a woman, was also pulled from the pickup truck and was transported to a hospital in an unknown condition.
The driver of the pickup, later identified as Oscar Delacruz, had been wanted on a felony warrant, police said. He was being held without bail.
“He’s being charged with murder in regards to this matter, and we’ll work with the district attorney’s office into the further details of this case,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. “And to the public that looks into the circumstances of why the department was pursuing that individual, was it consistent with our policies and expectations, we will have more information on that as the information becomes known.”
Authorities told Eyewitness News that officers believed one of the male suspects was possibly suffering from an overdose after ingesting a large amount of unknown narcotics.
AIR7 HD was above the scene as the investigation unfolded. The two vehicles involved were left mangled near a sidewalk with large amounts of debris scattered around.
We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the victims and wish a quick recovery for others involved in this crash during this very difficult time.
If you have been injured in a road rage incident in Glendale or any other place, an experienced personal injury lawyer can make you assure that your rights are protected. The Law Offices of Burg & Brock has offices throughout California.
When individuals are harmed or killed in traffic accidents, and another party is at fault, full compensation is not always granted, despite the circumstances. Skilled legal representation from a car or truck accident attorney is typically a must in these situations.
Photo credit: ABC7.com
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