BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — After days, more questions remain as to what happened during the fatal crash on Thursday morning on South Vineland and Muller roads, leaving one dead and three injured, including two Bakersfield Police officers.
We now know the names of the officers involved, 23-year-old Ricardo Robles and 24-year-old Travione Cobbin, but we still don’t know who was driving.
Walter Williams, Chairmen of the Bakersfield Community Policing Group, a group that advocates on behalf of the community to hold the Bakersfield Police Department accountable for incidents like this, says things have to change.
“The community has to start stepping up. The community has to start saying, enough is enough,” Williams said.
However, others like community advocate Nadine Escalante said it’s South Vineland and Muller roads, in the rural area east of Bakersfield, that’s the biggest issue.
It’s the same spot she crashed at in 2015.
“I had a car accident at that exact same spot, so there’s a problem with the location, we as a community if you don’t know exactly where that stop sign is, you’re not going to see that there is a problem,” Escalante said.
At the Bakersfield Police Department, the policies for responding officers states they should, “exercise sound judgment and care with due regard for life and property when responding to an emergency call,” and that “Officers shall reduce speed at all street intersections to such a degree that they shall have complete control of the vehicle.”
Speed could have played a role in the crash. However, California Highway Patrol Officer Tomas Martinez says officers can exceed the speed limit under certain conditions.
“Most of the times, when you have an officer exceeding the speed limit, they are in pursuit of a suspect or a vehicle,” said Martinez.
We don’t know if that was the case the morning of the crash, but to the other questions we had about the crash, Martinez responded, “no, at this time, everything is still under investigation,” said Martinez.