All the occupants got out of the vehicle safely – but a Saturday night, Dec. 29 crash along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks at Highway 120 and Plaza Avenue in Escalon did result in two arrests.
Police Chief Mike Borges said officers received a call of a vehicle on the tracks on Saturday night, with the call coming in about 7:15 p.m.
“The report was the vehicle on the tracks with people still inside,” Borges explained. “Witnesses were yelling at them to get out of the car. There were four people seen; they exited and then went back to the vehicle and were seen grabbing backpacks and then fled.”
Borges said an approaching Amtrak train was unable to avoid striking the vehicle, but it was unoccupied at the time.
“There was a complaint of pain by one of the passengers on board the train so now this is being investigated as a felony hit and run because the occupants fled and left the vehicle on the tracks,” Borges noted.
The occupants fled the scene northbound toward the Taco Bell and Burger King parking lot area. Two subjects were later contacted by Sgt. Gustavo Flores and it was determined both had been in the vehicle, one was a passenger and the other was the driver.
According to a press release issued by the Escalon Police Department, Sgt. Flores located Alina Torres, 32, from Santa Cruz, and Silveiro Vasquez, 40, from Santa Cruz, walking down McHenry Avenue near Roosevelt Avenue. They matched the description of the subjects who fled from the scene of the collision.
“The driver provided a false name to officers originally,” added Borges.
Vasquez, the passenger, was found to be in possession of about 23 grams of methamphetamine and nearly $900 in cash. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale and booked at San Joaquin County Jail; he was later released.
Torres, according to the press release, admitted to driving the vehicle when it got stuck on the tracks, but provided her sister’s name and date of birth to Sergeant Flores during the booking process. She was subsequently charged with felony hit and run, impersonating another to make them liable for a crime, and providing a false name to a peace officer. She was booked at San Joaquin County Jail and was being held on $130,000 bail.
Borges said the two other occupants of the vehicle had not been located as of press time.