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Police Say Man Accidentally Killed in Car Chase

April 10, 1991

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) _ Police ran over and killed the driver of an alleged stolen car following a chase through city streets, authorities said Wednesday.

The man, identified as Jose Serrano, 20, of Bell Gardens, died at Harbor General-UCLA Medical Center shortly after the Tuesday night chase, said Torrance police Lt. Dennis Frandsen.

The chase began just after 10 p.m., when Officers Ricardo Rivera and Ronald Pobuda spotted a car matching the description of a stolen vehicle. The driver refused to stop and led the officers on a chase that reached speeds of 70 mph.

The chase ended when the fleeing car struck a curb on a side street near the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles. As the vehicle slowed down, it was struck from the rear by the police car, Frandsen said.

When they got out of their patrol car, the officers realized they also had run over a man thought to be the vehicle’s driver, he said.

Frandsen said the man had either gotten out of the car or had fallen out.

Sgt. Ron Traber said Serrano was carrying a starter’s pistol when he died.

The case was under investigation by the Torrance Police Department.

Torrance Lt. Harold Maestri said Los Angeles police were conducting a separate investigation because the accident occurred in their jurisdiction.

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