MARYSVILLE (CBS13) — The family of a mother and daughter who were killed in a wrong-way crash on the highway in Yuba County is speaking out.
Deputies were chasing a stolen truck on Highway 70 in Yuba County when the driver slammed head-on into the victims’ car, killing them.READ MORE: Thursday's Show Info (1/27/22)
“Their hearts were just so big, family was number one to them,” said Daniel Ojeda.
His sister, Cary Ojeda, 55, and his niece, Deanna Hernandez, 36, were killed in the crash.
“It was hard,” he said about getting the call they didn’t make it.
Ojeda says both women were born caretakers in life and in work. Both were employed at a nursing facility in Marysville.
“That was the perfect career for them because that’s what they did,” he said “They took care of everybody.”
On Wednesday, that’s what they were doing. They were on their way to pick up the kids from school when Yuba County sheriff’s deputies say Chase Hammonds, 25, took police on a high-speed chase, crossed the center divider and crashed directly into the victims’ Dodge Durango.
Neighbor photos show the aftermath of the car flipped over, barely recognizable.
“He was going at least [70 miles per hour] coming down this road,” said Veronica Smallwood.
She was outside her home on Powerline Road when she heard sirens, saw the suspect fly by and the cops behind him.READ MORE: Rancho Cordova Hosts Vaccine Clinic, Offers COVID Testing Kits
“I knew it was going to end up bad, over a trailer,” she said.
But she didn’t know it was a mother and daughter killed in the wrong-way crash.
Deputies say they got a license plate reader notification saying the truck and trailer Hammonds was in was stolen.
Within minutes they initiated a traffic stop in East Linda, but the suspect took off.
The chase lasted only a few minutes but ended in tragedy.
The suspect tried to run from the scene but was arrested shortly after.
Our records show he has multiple violations of probation warrants for prior stolen vehicle cases.
This family is now left to pick up the pieces and has a message for the accused killer.
“You sacrificed two good souls,” Ojeda said.MORE NEWS: Concerns Grow Over Illegal Camping In American River Parkway
Hammonds was released from the hospital Friday and faces multiple felonies, including evading, hit-and-run and murder.