Pursuit suspect hits, kills innocent driver in Pomona

POMONA, Calif.

California Highway Patrol officials said the suspect stole the Ford F-350 in Rancho Cucamonga. He was being chased by Claremont police when he ran a red light, collided with a Toyota Camry and hit a tree near Towne and La Verne avenues.

"I had just sat down, and was in the middle of eating supper, and we heard this big noise, and it really was loud," said resident Anita Fisher.

Police wouldn't say how fast the truck was going, but it was fast enough to send the victim's car into a pole. The driver of the Toyota, 54-year-old Jesus Bugarin Mercado of Pomona, died at the scene.

The suspect jumped out of the truck and was chased down by officers about a block away.

"There was an initial report during the pursuit that the suspect might have had a handgun. We are canvassing the area to try and see if that was true. We did not locate a handgun on him," said Sgt. Robert Rauchfuss of the Claremont Police Department.

Police said the suspect had minor cuts and scrapes on his forehead. It was not immediately known what charges he faces. His name has not been released.

Mercado wasn't far from his family's home when the suspect slammed into his car.

"It kind of shook me up," Fisher said. "Kept me up all night because I was thinking about the man in the black car."

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