The death of a 25-year-old San Pablo man involved in a car crash while fleeing police on Tuesday, Feb. 16, has been deemed an accident by a Contra Costa County coronery’s jury, Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner David Livingstom announced Friday.
The finding cleared law enforcement of responsibility for the death of Ivan Jonathan Sandoval.
The sheriff convenes a coroner’s inquest in fatal incidents that involve law enforcement personnel. The inquest includes a public hearing during which a jury rules on the manner of a person’s death among four options: Accident; Suicide; Natural Causes; and At the hands of another person, other than by accident.
After hearing testimony of witnesses, the coroner’s jury reached the verdict that Sandoval’s cause of death as an accident.
According to police, the incident unfolded at 8 a.m. Feb. 16, when officers tried conducting a traffic stop on the reported stolen vehicle as it was driving in the 14500 block of San Pablo Avenue, near El Portal Drive. The driver, later identified as Sandoval, failed to yield and led police on a pursuit northbound on San Pablo Avenue. Officers subsequently canceled the pursuit due to the stolen vehicle driver’s unsafe, reckless driving, according to police.
“Within a short time, officers discovered the stolen vehicle was involved in a collision with another vehicle traveling southbound on San Pablo Avenue just north of the Richmond Parkway,” police said.
Officers located the driver at the scene and began administering life-saving measures, but he succumbed to his injuries, police said. The occupant of the second involved vehicle, a 34-year old Hayward resident, sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital.