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13-year-old steals car, causes deadly crash in Elk Grove, police say

Family of victim in deadly Elk Grove crash involving teen driver speaks out
Family of victim in deadly Elk Grove crash involving teen driver speaks out 03:31

ELK GROVE — A 13-year-old was arrested after Elk Grove police said stole a vehicle and crashed into another vehicle during a chase on Monday.

The crash happened at the intersection of Laguna and Franklin boulevards a little after 9 p.m. Both vehicles sustained major damage with one of them rolling over onto its roof.

Officers initially tried to pull over the stolen vehicle near Elk Grove Boulevard and Highway 99. That driver, later identified as the young teen, wouldn't yield.

Sergeant Jason Jiminez with Elk Grove police said the teen led a pursuit down Laguna Boulevard heading westbound, zipping through neighborhoods before crashing at Franklin. Umipeg was making a northbound turn onto Franklin Boulevard from eastbound Laguna when he was hit.

Sgt. Jiminez could not say what the speed of the chase was and that it is all part of the traffic investigation that is ongoing.

Between supervisors and the police pursuing a car, they consider the risk to the community and whether to switch to other tactics to catch a suspect during a chase.

"It's an unfortunate, tragic incident, and someone has lost a loved one and that's not lost on us," Sgt. Jiminez said. "Ultimately, we want our community and family to know that when we are pursuing someone. There are risks involved and, ultimately, we are constantly evaluating those risks and determining whether or not we need to continue."

Scene of the crash Monday night. CBS13

Elk Grove police said the teen and the other driver were both hospitalized. The teen's injuries were minor but the other driver's injuries were life-threatening.

On Tuesday, Elk Grove police announced that the other driver -- a 55-year-old man -- had died from his injuries. Loved ones and the coroner's office identified the victim as Gregg Umipeg.

"It was unnecessary, very unnecessary, and now my son is without a father," said Brandee Codina who is the mother of the victim's son.

Umipeg's loved ones told CBS13 that his 13-year-old son Branden was his world.

"I just want justice," Codina said. "I want to know what happened. I want to know if all protocol was taken."

The suspect has since been booked into juvenile hall. Police said they have not ruled out if drugs or alcohol were factors for the 13-year-old. There is still no word on if additional charges for the kid's parents are coming.

"Where's the consequences for the child and all the damages he's done for all of our families, and how can we prevent this again from happening to someone else?" Umipeg's sister Tammy Lattion said.

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