A car full of teens believed to be fleeing a Windsor neighborhood in the wake of a rash of auto burglaries crashed into a tree early Thursday morning, injuring three young people inside, one seriously, authorities said.
The suspected 15-year-old driver apparently had become aware he was being followed by a burglary victim from a neighborhood just south of Windsor High School, police and CHP personnel said.
He was speeding when he lost control of the car he was driving, drove off the left side of Windsor River Road and struck a tree near the Eastside Road intersection, police said.
The incident unfolded about 4 a.m. after the victim, a resident of Bouquet Circle, observed strangers in his vehicle parked in the driveway, Windsor Police Sgt. Mark Essick said.
The suspects then left in a green Honda sedan, apparently after taking a firearm in a locked case from the man's vehicle, Essick said.
The victim, meanwhile, called 911 and began to follow the Honda in his own car, picking up speed himself and taking chase as the suspects attempted to put distance between them, he said.
When the suspect vehicle crashed, the man quickly climbed into the car to retrieve his gun as at least one suspect bailed out on foot and sheriff's deputies began to arrive, Essick said.
Four teens from the car were apprehended, including the lone adult, Hugo Garcia, 18, of Windsor, police said.
Garcia was booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of conspiracy and possession of stolen property. His bail was $5,000.
Another suspect, a 16-year-old, was taken with serious back injuries to Kaiser Medical Center for treatment, as was a 13-year-old, who suffered moderate injuries in the crash, Essick said.