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Motorist fleeing from police crashes into tree south of Yountville

Motorist fleeing from police crashes into tree south of Yountville

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A motorist fleeing a traffic stop in St. Helena early Tuesday morning was seriously injured when his car ran off Highway 29, crossed Napa Valley Wine Train tracks and slammed into a tree, police said.

A St. Helena officer had pulled over a Kia Optima at 12:11 a.m. on Main Street at Hunt Avenue for speeding, Lt. Justin Tharp said.

When a Napa County Sheriff’s deputy and K9 arrived, the driver took off down Highway 29, through Yountville, then back onto the highway before crashing south of the town, Tharp said.

The driver, Ruben Garcia, 34, of Montebello, was ejected from the car upon impact. He was taken by CHP medical helicopter to an out-of-county hospital with major injuries, Tharp said.

Police intend to seek charges of evading officers, giving false information to an officer and possession of meth, Tharp said. The driver also had a parole hold, he said.

The passengers, Veronica Pena, 30, of Los Angeles, and Ana Pereira, 34, of Montebello, were taken to a local hospital with moderate injuries, Tharp said.

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