Merced County Deputies Find Baby in Woman’s Car after High-Speed Chase

MERCED COUNTY — Merced County deputies arrested a Turlock woman Tuesday who sped away from them and crashed while an infant was in the car with her.

(Credit: Merced County Sheriff’s Office)

Just after 11 a.m., a Merced County captain and a lieutenant watched a silver sedan speed by them on southbound Highway 99 near Livingston, according to the sheriff’s office. They notified a deputy nearby that the car was heading his way.

As the woman behind the wheel swerved in and out of traffic, nearly crashing into other vehicles, the deputy tried to stop her. Instead, she drove more than 100 mph on the shoulder of the highway.

In the area of Franklin Road near Merced, the woman lost control of the car and it crashed on top of some railroad tracks.

Aleigha Freitas was taken into custody. The deputies suspected the 24-year-old was under the influence of drugs and discovered she had a warrant out for her arrest.

Sitting in a child seat behind her was a 6-month-old baby.

They were taken to a hospital but uninjured and Freitas was later booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of felony evasion and felony child endangerment.

The infant is in the care of Merced County Child Protective Services.

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