Man Dies in Fiery Crash in Modesto

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A man in a stolen vehicle slammed into a tree, causing a fiery crash, according to the Modesto Police Department.

The crash happened about 1 p.m. behind Downey High School near Brighton Avenue and Wylie Drive.

In a split second, Eleanor Garza went from taking out the trash to becoming a witness to a deadly scene.

“Just kind of happened in a flash, and then the car crashed, and all of a sudden, everything was blocked off and there was cops everywhere,” Garza told FOX40.

The man died after officers said they saw him driving at high speeds and weaving in and out of traffic, beginning on Oakdale Road. They said they never turned on any lights or sirens.

Heather Graves with the Modesto Police Department said officers wanted to stop him but couldn’t because of speed.

“Right about Briggsmore is where they caught up to him but lost him soon after he took off,” she said.

Graves said officers attempted to stop the driver, but he took off.

“Right about Briggsmore is where they caught up to him but lost him soon after he took off,” Graves said.

The driver sped throughout the Northeast part of the city. Officers finally caught up to the driver, but by then it was too late.

“Honestly, it was just like kind of so quick, like, I just saw the car and then the cops, and then I just heard the crash,” Garza said.

The car crashed into a tree and then burst into flames the driver died at the scene.

“After the collision, we did get a phone call into dispatch from the woman who had her car stolen,” she said.

While no one else was injured, it was enough to rattle this neighborhood.

“No one was hurt, like, that lived here, so that’s a good thing, but you know, unfortunately stuff like this had to happen,” Garza said.

Modesto police officers have not released the man’s identity.

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