BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — At around 2 a.m., Bakersfield police officers chased a stolen car speeding down Weedpatch Highway.
According to police, the driver was 21-year-old Michael Stephens. Stephens then crashed the car and was taken into custody, police said. After the chase ended, dispatchers received a call about a separate crash involving a Bakersfield police car and a Honda Accord at South Vineland and Muller roads.
The officers were southbound on a road with stop signs for northbound and southbound lanes.
The Honda Accord was traveling west. The 30-year-old man driving the accord was killed and a 34-year-old passenger named Ana Hernandez was taken to a hospital with major injuries.
The two Bakersfield police officers were injured and taken to a nearby hospital with moderate to major injuries. The California Highway Patrol is handling the investigation of the crash and Officer Tomas Martinez shares that the area is filled with two-lane roads.
With reports showing it is prone to accidents.
“It’s not very well lit. It’s not much traffic, so sometimes people tend to drive there as if there’s no one on the roadways so because of the conditions, because of the darkness in the roadway and the conditions of the roadways sometimes we do get some crashes out there,” Martinez said.
This could have been a factor in the crash and speed if the officers were responding to assist in the chase of Stephens.
“Sometimes if they call for another unit to assist maybe they had a known last location so they could possibly be what we call circulating the area, searching the area to see if they can locate the suspect,” Martinez said.
The officers involved in the crash are 23 and 24 years old. But have not been identified.
There is still a lot unknown in the case, but we are learning Hernandez, who is critically injured in the crash has pursued an investigation.