Dog walker killed in Long Beach pursuit crash had connection to suspect's girlfriend

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The girlfriend of a man expected to be arraigned Friday for allegedly leading Long Beach police on a chase and then crashing into a car killing a woman and five dogs is speaking out about the incident.

In a cruel twist of fate, the girlfriend used to work as a dog groomer for the victim killed in the crash and for her clients.

"It took me a while to realize that it was her, but I took a good look at her on the internet and realized that she was one of my customers, and it's sad that one of our own had to go the way she did," the suspect's girlfriend, identified only as Brandy, said. "She was a nice lady."

The death of Jessica Bingaman, 41, a single mother to a 10-year-old daughter and a popular dog walker is still being felt around Long Beach more than a week after she was killed in a head-on crash with the suspect, identified as suspected gang member Javier Olivarez.

MORE: Popular Long Beach dog walker identified as woman killed in pursuit crash
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Police have identified the woman killed by a stolen van being chased by officers as 41-year-old Jessica Bingaman of Long Beach.

Olivarez is accused of fleeing police in a stolen van when he crashed.

"He's completely devastated that he found out that he had killed a woman," Brandy said.

The suspect's girlfriend puts much of the blame for the crash not on her boyfriend, but on officers for chasing him through a residential area.

"It's sad that the cops are chasing people because this didn't have to happen," Brandy said.

Olivarez has failed to appear in court two straight days.

He is due back Friday to be arraigned on nine charges, including vehicular manslaughter, fleeing police and six counts of animal cruelty.
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