19-Year Old Dies after Playing Chicken with the California Highway Patrol

CAThe California Highway Patrol was monitoring a “swap meet” held in the parking lot of a local mall last Sunday. According to the authorities, around 80 trucks and off-road vehicles were participating the meeting, and some of the drivers were performing donuts. Naturally, the officers were watching the drivers while undercover in unmarked cars. At one point into the night, one of the drivers left the scene and was observed driving at speeds of up to 90 mph (145 km/h). The officers continued the pursuit in their unmarked vehicle, and they drove for approximately five miles, until the Chevrolet Silverado reached a dead-end street in Fullerton. At that point, the driver turned the truck around, and attempted a game of “chicken” with the police officers. In layman’s terms, the incredibly dangerous game of “chicken” consists of two vehicles driving directly into each other’s path, and the one that steers away first is considered the "loser." The officers did not want to let the suspect leave the scene and risk an accident with innocent civilians, so they opened fire on the vehicle. Pedro Villanueva, the 19-year-old driver of the red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, died on the scene. His passenger was injured by a bullet that struck his upper torso, but he is expected to survive. Authorities are unaware whether Villanueva figured out if he was being pursued by a team of undercover police officers when he decided to drive towards them at speed. Villanueva’s family and friends mourn his death, and a GoFundMe page was opened to raise money for his relatives. According to the LaTimes, the page shows a photograph of the 19-year-old man as he is holding a guitar while sitting in the bed of his pick-up truck. We would like to remind you that street racing is dangerous, and getting pursued by the police in any country is a serious offense.

 

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