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Head-On Mission Viejo Collision Kills 2

A motorist fleeing police was going the wrong way on Jeronimo Road, officials say.

April 07, 2005|Rachana Rathi | Times Staff Writer

Two people died when their car was hit head-on by a motorist fleeing police late Tuesday, authorities said.

Jon Tafoya, 25, of Downey, a registered sex offender who police said was under the influence of narcotics and alcohol, had been pulled over for an illegal U-turn on Marguerite Parkway just south of Alicia Parkway in Mission Viejo at about 11:10 p.m., said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Tafoya fled south on Marguerite in his Chevrolet pickup before turning west into the eastbound lanes of Jeronimo Road, Amormino said. Tafoya collided head-on with a Saturn while traveling 70 mph in a 45-mph zone, Amormino said.

The Saturn driver, a 40-year-old man, died at the scene, Amormino said. His passenger, a 22-year-old woman, died early Wednesday at Mission Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo, he said. Amormino said he didn't know if they were wearing seat belts.

Tafoya was arrested in a residential backyard after he fled the collision on foot, Amormino said. He was taken to Mission Hospital with a broken ankle and was expected to be transported to Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, Amormino said. A small amount of narcotics was found in Tafoya's truck, he said.

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