From the Oakland Tribune, Nov. 4:
Two killed in East Oakland after CHP chase
OAKLAND — Mark Aragon was driving to one of two jobs he worked to support his wife and three stepdaughters when he died in an East Oakland car wreck Thursday morning, a family member said.
Aragon, 32, died when his Chevy Suburban was hit by a BMW driven by Connectis Guiton, 19, who also died, police said. Both men were Oakland residents.
It was almost 2 a.m. when California Highway Patrol officers spotted a BMW driven by Guiton speeding at more than 100 mph, westbound on Interstate 580 near 150th Avenue in San Leandro, CHP Officer Rob Tuazon said. The officers tried to pull over the car but it continued speeding, getting off the freeway at Foothill Boulevard in Oakland and continuing on MacArthur Boulevard.
The BMW collided with the Suburban driven by Aragon as he crossed the 106th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard intersection. Both vehicles ended up off the roadway in front of an auto repair business called MacArthur Auto Center.
When police officers arrived, the Suburban had flipped onto its left side and the BMW was badly damaged and on fire.
Firefighters tore open the Suburban to free Aragon from the vehicle, but found him dead.
“He was genuinely a nice guy,” said Oakland police Sgt. Jamie Kim, Aragon’s brother-in-law. About three-and-a-half years ago, Kim said, Aragon married his wife, Leila, who already had three daughters.
“That was his big thing, trying to take care of his adopted family,” Kim said. The girls are now 17, 12 and 9.
Aragon was headed to a 2 a.m. shift at FedEx when he was killed; he also worked at the Emeryville Best Buy, Kim said.
Guiton was pulled from the BMW and taken to Highland Hospital, where he died. CHP officers said that when they pulled him from the car, they could smell the odor of alcohol on him.
Investigators said Thursday afternoon they could find no record of Guiton having a valid drivers license.
Tuazon said CHP officers were justified in pursuing the speeding driver.
“If we try to initiate a traffic stop for someone speeding, our officers are authorized to continue to follow the speeding vehicle,” Tuazon said. “If traffic is really busy, there is an arsenal of policies to go through in the officers’ head in deciding whether to continue or cancel the pursuit.”
That stretch of MacArthur is not known as a busy traffic area at 2 a.m., he said.
Kim said his family is not angry with the CHP, but with Guiton.
“Ultimately it’s this guy’s decision to keep going or stop, and he kept going, with disastrous results for both families,” Kim said.
Anyone with information about the crash can call investigators at 510-777-8720.
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