(01-26) 08:40 PST OAKLAND -- A passenger in a stolen SUV being chased by the California Highway Patrol died early Saturday and six other occupants were hurt when the vehicle hit a tree in the Oakland hills, authorities said.
The 19-year-old man, whose name wasn't immediately released, died at the scene of the 2:40 a.m. crash on the 600 block of Elysian Fields Drive near the Sequoyah Country Club. Four other passengers suffered injuries, and two others fled. One was caught, but the other, possibly the driver, escaped.
Police in El Cerrito tried to stop a stolen red GMC Yukon about 2:30 a.m., but the driver failed to yield to officers and got onto westbound Interstate 80.
The GMC traveled at speeds of up to 90 mph as CHP officers took over the pursuit. The SUV continued onto eastbound I-580, exited at Keller Avenue and turned onto Elysian Fields. The driver failed to negotiate a turn and hit a rock and a tree, authorities said.
Jimmy Colley, 46, who lives nearby, said he was asleep when he was awakened by the sound of sirens, which is unusual for the Sequoyah Heights neighborhood.
"I heard this screeching of the truck and I saw it hit the rock and go into a tree," Colley said, adding he saw several people jumping out of the SUV as "dust and debris were floating."
Colley said it was unfortunate that the driver chose to flee and that a passenger died.
"When you look at this situation you assume that they're young kids," Colley said. "We got to start teaching these kids to make better decisions and to be accountable for the decisions that they make. What they're running from isn't worth risking your life for, no matter what."