Police “High-Speed Chases:” Another Innocent Life Taken

A 67-year-old San Bernardino woman died early Saturday when a man fleeing police slammed into her car, police said.

Ruby Lene Johnson was driving a 1995 Toyota Camry west on Base Line at about 12:30 a.m. when a speeding 2007 Scion traveling north on Mount Vernon Avenue ran a red light and hit her car, authorities said. She was pronounced dead at the scene, the San Bernardino County coroner’s office said.

Jose Palacios, 20, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and failing to stop for police. Police said they believe Palacios, whose residence was unknown, was traveling more than 100 mph.

Police were chasing Palacios after another hit-and-run at Foothill Boulevard and Riverside Avenue in Rialto, said police Lt. Gwendolyn Waters.

Victims of that hit-and-run followed Palacios into San Bernardino and flagged down police, who tried to catch up with Palacios near Mount Vernon and Fifth Street, she said. Palacios initially slowed down, then accelerated and attempted to flee, she said.

After the Camry and Scion collided, both vehicles hit two other vehicles in the intersection of Base Line and Mount Vernon before coming to rest about 60 feet north of the intersection, police said. A driver and passenger in one of those other vehicles were injured and taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

–David Olson


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