FONTANA - Three boys fleeing a California Highway Patrol officer were killed late Wednesday when they crashed a car into a brick wall and the vehicle landed in a yard.Two of the boys - the 15-year-old driver and an 11-year-old passenger - died at the scene when they were thrown from the vehicle. A 9-year-old passenger, who was wearing a seatbelt, died at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.
San Bernardino coroner’s officials identified the driver as Devon R. Keeten and the 9-year-old as Devon’s brother Dylan R. Green, both of Fontana. The 11-year-old remained unidentified.
A California Highway Patrol officer pulled over the 15-year-old boy behind the wheel of a silver Nissan Altima after he ran a red light at 8:55 p.m., said Officer Steven Cuevas. When the officer walked up to the vehicle, the driver sped away.
He led the officer on a short chase, running several red lights and speeding at 90 mph, until he lost control of the car at the corner of Alder and Shamrock avenues and crashed into the wall. The vehicle flipped over the wall and ended up in the front yard of a home.
Several people were in the house at the time of the accident but they were not injured, authorities said.
Dolores Pimentel, who was at home with her husband Edward and two young grandchildren, said they were watching television when the vehicle crashed. At first, they thought it was an earthquake.
“It was a horrible accident,” Pimentel said. “We thought the house was falling apart.” She and her husband ran outside and saw a body on their porch. They ran back inside to keep their grandchildren, ages 3 and 1, from seeing it.
Dust filled the house as it continued to crumble. The couple moved their grandchildren to a back room to keep them safe.
It wasn’t until later they discovered that all occupants of the vehicle were also children. Despite their deaths, she was grateful no one was harmed in her house.
“Thank God they were all O.K. inside,” she said.
Since then, the family has not been able to sleep due to emergency and television crews surrounding their home.
Code enforcement personnel arrived at the scene this morning and red-tagged the home, meaning the home has been deemed unsafe.
Ratcliffe said counselors have been sent to both schools to offer grievance counseling to students and staff.
Staff writer Debbie Pfeiffer-Trunnell and the Associated Press contributed to this report.