Hopland teen identified as victim in high-speed pursuit crash

The car chase reached 80 mph along Sebastopol Road early Sunday morning.|

A 19-year-old Mendocino County man died early Sunday when a high-speed police pursuit ended with a car crashing at the Sebastopol Road terminus just west of Santa Rosa, officials said.

The victim was identified by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office as Maclovio Romero of Hopland, Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum said.

Two other occupants of the silver Toyota Avalon were transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with major injuries, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

One, whose name was not known, was ejected with Romero and the other, identified only as Anthony Alfaro, remained in the crumpled car, Sloat said.

Investigators do not know which man was driving the vehicle, he said.

The incident began at 3:05 a.m. when a Santa Rosa police officer attempted to make an “enforcement stop” on a vehicle, Santa Rosa Sgt. David Boettger said in a press release.

The vehicle failed to stop, leading to a pursuit at up to 80 mph westbound on Sebastopol Road, Sloat said. The pursuit continued beyond city limits, crossing South Wright Road, to the end of Sebastopol Road at the Joe Rodota Trail, which parallels Highway 12, he said.

The car went over the barrier, became airborne and rolled several times, ejecting two people, Sloat said. Romero was declared dead at the scene, he said.

Sloat said he did not have the name of the police officer engaged in the pursuit.

The investigation was continuing Sunday afternoon, and Sloat said alcohol had not been ruled out as a factor in the crash.

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @guykovner.

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