WATSONVILLE — A three-vehicle crash stemming from a high-speed pursuit shut down Freedom Boulevard for an hour Wednesday afternoon.
The male driver of an Acura Integra sped off from Watsonville Police officer Javier Ayala around 4:15 p.m. when he tried to pull the silver sedan over for an unsafe windshield on Marin Street.
Sgt. Henry Robles said the driver, Jose Alvarez, 32, raced onto northbound Freedom Boulevard in rush hour traffic. When he reached about 70 mph police aborted the pursuit for safety reasons. Roughly four blocks away the Acura plowed head-on into a black Honda Accord with a female driver on Freedom Boulevard at Blanca Lane, totaling both cars. Another Honda Accord ended up knocking into the first Honda.
That’s when Alvarez leapt from his smashed car, Robles said, and charged off toward Clifford Avenue behind Wells Fargo Bank. During the foot chase police had to burst through a wood fence in order to take Alvarez into custody.
The female Honda driver and Alvarez suffered injuries in the crash and were taken to Watsonville Community Hospital, Robles said. Police had to shut down all lanes of Freedom Boulevard until 5:25 p.m. between Clifford and Davis avenues. That closure led to an extended traffic logjam that spread into surrounding neighborhoods.
The California Highway Patrol also responded to the crash.
The investigation is ongoing, Robles said.