UPDATE (2:47 p.m.): The chase that resulted in the sisters’ deaths was prompted by a lost cellphone, according to a court filing obtained Friday by 17 News.
Upon noticing his phone was missing, Brandt, who had recently taken an Uber, contacted the ride-hailing service to see if he’d left it behind, according to a probable cause declaration. The driver, Montoya, returned to Brandt’s location. The phone wasn’t in the vehicle.
Brandt then managed to track the phone to a location on Macau Street in south Bakersfield, and he and Montoya drove separate vehicles there, according to the declaration. They found and confronted the girls; Brandt banged on their car window and demanded they return his phone, police say in the filing.
The girls, who didn’t know the men, “fled the area out of fear for their safety,” police wrote in the declaration. The men followed.
“Brandt and Montoya aggressively chased the victims’ vehicle to the end of McKee Road,” police say in the declaration.
The sisters’ vehicle came to the end of the road “where it launched onto Highway 99” and was hit by a pickup, according to the declaration.
Brandt was identified through a photo lineup, Montoya through Uber records, according to the declaration. Police said Montoya also admitted involvement.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield police announced the arrest of a Santa Maria man in connection to a fiery crash that killed two sisters on McKee Road earlier this year, according to police.
Police arrested Tevin Brandt, 29, on a warrant charging him with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving. He is due in court on Monday Nov. 6. according to court records.
A second person, Gustavo Montoya, has also been charged but was not in custody, records show.
On the morning of March 4, three sisters were in south Bakersfield, delivering newspapers from the family car. Around 3 a.m., 21-year-old Karime Duarte called her father to let him know that she and two of her sisters, 23-year-old Diana Ponce and 15-year-old Jennifer Duarte, were being chased by another vehicle.
Duarte jumped in his car to search for his daughters. He found their vehicle engulfed in flames.
Karime and Jennifer burned to death. Diana survived but endured severe injuries, including organ damage, broken ribs and other injuries.