A suspected carjacker’s attempt to abscond with a stolen vehicle met with a violent end when he collided with a big rig minutes after the theft.
The collision resulted in major injuries for the suspect, who was identified by the Turlock Police Department as Eric Ramos, 21, of Turlock.
The incident began shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday at an apartment complex in the 100 block of Clifford Avenue.
The male victim had been warming up the 1999 Chevrolet Suburban and left it unattended momentarily. When he returned he found a man sitting the driver’s seat, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Russ Holeman. The victim confronted the man, later identified as Ramos and told him to get out of the vehicle. The suspect’s response was to point a handgun at the man and threaten to kill him.
Ramos sped out of the complex, striking a bush and three cars in the process, Holeman said.
The victim reported the carjacking to the police department and about 10 minutes later, officers learned the same vehicle had been involved in a crash with a big rig on Highway 99 at the South Avenue exit in Delhi.
The report from the California Highway Patrol indicates Ramos took the exit at a high rate of speed and failed to stop at the posted stop sign. As he entered the intersection, the Suburban he was driving struck a 2012 Freightliner tractor trailer that was headed west on South Avenue.
The collision caused extensive damage to the Suburban and had Ramos pinned inside it until emergency responders were able to free him from the wreckage.
Ramos was taken to Memorial Medical Center by helicopter with major internal and external injuries, according to the CHP.
The Freightliner driver, Gursewak Singh, 48, of Livingston was not injured in the crash.
Turlock Police officers responded to the crash site and located a 9mm pistol and ammunition in the vehicle.
Ramos bore a resemblance to a suspect in an armed robbery that had occurred about an hour and a half before the carjacking. In that case, three people had been walking in the area of Flower Street and Grant Avenue when they were confronted by a man with a handgun who demanded they hand over their property. The victims complied and the suspect fled with their belongings.
Turlock Police Officer Dustin Ferreira, who had responded to both the armed robbery and the carjacking calls, thought the two crimes might be linked together and continued the investigation. A photo line-up with Ramos’ picture included was shown to one of the robbery victims and Ramos was picked out as the robber, according to the police report.
Ramos has subsequently been taken into custody and has a bail of $350,000. He is being held on charges of carjacking, with an enhancement of using a firearm during the commission of a carjacking; armed robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of a loaded firearm, and a probation violation.