Teen suspected of DUI in deadly crash

Tulare Police plan to charge teen with murder

Tulare, Calif. - In the South Valley an 18-year-old is set to face murder charges after Tulare Police say he tried to run from them and crashed his car into another vehicle killing an innocent woman. Police say 18-year-old Jace Freitas was not injured in the crash and was arrested at the scene.

Investigators with the Tulare Police Department are still following up to try to find new details about a deadly crash that happened in their city over the weekend. They do believe the suspect they say was running from them was under the influence of either drugs, or alcohol.

The crash happened on Sunday afternoon at the intersection of J Street and Prosperity Avenue. Investigators say Freitas tried to get away from an officer trying to pull him over.

"Where he attempted the stop, activated the siren is where the suspect took off and the officer attempted to catch up and at that time the subject had already entered the intersection and collided," said Sgt. Andrew Garcia of the Tulare Police Department. 

Just minutes earlier a call had come in about a man who was intoxicated getting into a vehicle in the 1400 block of North Hillman in Tulare. Investigators say the vehicle license plate and description matched the vehicle Freitas was in as he allegedly ran a stop sign and a red light before crashing into a vehicle carrying four people. A 50-year-old woman died in the crash. Freitas was uninjured and arrested. Police believe alcohol, and or drugs were involved.

"Our investigation is showing possible intoxicated and we've got to wait on the lab results and toxicology results to come back before we can accuse someone of being under the influence," said Sgt. Garcia.

For his alleged role in the deadly crash Freitas faces a murder charge. Legal analyst Charles Magill says if the allegations are true the charge is within the law.

"While he was running he hit someone and killed them. That is what makes that murder is he was running at the time," said Magill. 

The identity of the woman killed in the crash here hasn't been released.

If convicted, the 18-year-old could end up behind bars for decades.

"Felony murder he could be looking at 25 to life," said Magill. 

If anyone out there saw the crash, or knows anything about what led up to it the Tulare Police Department wants to hear from you.


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