A police chase that began in Chelsea ended in the deaths of two men in Revere early this morning when the driver being pursued and an uninvolved vehicle collided, killing both drivers, authorities said. Police had called off the chase before the collision, according to the Suffolk District Attorney’s office.
“On behalf of the Chelsea Police Department and the entire community of Chelsea we are all deeply saddened by the loss sustained in this tragic accident and offer our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the families of both the victims during this difficult and trying time," said Chelsea police chief Brian Kyes in a statement.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the suspect, Sergio Santiago Jr., 27, of Lynn, who was being pursued by Chelsea police, ran a red light and drove his car into the vehicle driven by Viktor Yumatov, 65, of Revere, according to he Suffolk District Attorney’s office.
Both men were both ejected at the intersection of Revere Parkway and Route 145, according to the district attorney's office and State Police.
Chelsea police responded to the first incident on Eastern Avenue at 1:15 a.m., said Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney’s office in a phone interview.
State troopers responded to accident, which occurred about a mile away from the Eastern Avenus, 10 minutes later.
Yumatov was pronounced dead at the scene, and Santiago was pronounced dead at Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett, according to a press release from State Police.
Sobs were audible from the street near Santiago's Lynn home yesterday as family members gathered to grieve. Although his mother was too distraught to comment, his older sister, Marissa, 34, said Santiago, who had graduated from Lynn English High School, was in between jobs and intended to go back to school. He had no children, but she said he was a good uncle.
"He had a good spirit," she said, speaking for the family as they sat around the kitchen table. "He was fun to be around."
From her Revere home, Yumatov's widow, said in a brief phone interview that she could not speak much English, but she will remember her husband as a good man. She said they had been married 47 years and had one son.
"I know he loved me,"she said. "It is very important to me he loved me...We had good life with each other."
Authorities believe the chase began when Santiago fled the scene of an argument with a female driver in Chelsea some time before the crash. The woman was not named, but Chelsea police officers interviewed her before the crash in Revere, according to State Police.
Chelsea police officers tried to pull Santiago over, but he drove onto Broadway and onto the eastbound side of Revere Parkway into Revere, according to State Police.
Officers were instructed at this point to turn off their emergency lights and disengage because Santiago was traveling at such a “high rate of speed,” Wark said. It does not appear that Santiago slowed down, he said.
As with any death investigation, an autopsy will be conducted to determine whether alcohol or another substance was involved, Wark said. Investigators noted a strong “smell of alcohol” coming from Santiago’s car, he said.
State and local Police and the district attorney’s office are investigating.
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