UPDATE: Suspects Killed in Fiery Crash at End of Chase

The pursuit began on Oakland Avenue in Hemet and reached speeds in excess of 100 mph before the suspect slammed into a tree.

Update: 9:10 a.m. Wednesday

Authorities today released the names of two women fatally injured when one of them drove a car into a tree while trying to evade pursuing Hemet police.

The pursuit began around 2 a.m. Tuesday in the 100 block of Oakland Avenue when a patrol unit spotted a vehicle that matched descriptions given by witnesses to four separate shootings at homes in Hemet and San Jacinto on Sunday, according to according to Hemet police Lt. Eric Dickson.

An officer stopped 33-year-old Crystal Gray of Hemet and her two passengers. As he spoke with Gray, she unexpectedly threw her car into gear and sped away, nearly striking the officer, Dickson said.

Officers gave chase, tailing the trio as Gray headed through southeast Hemet at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, he said.

"The police units were unable to safely match the suspect's speed and dropped back," the lieutenant said. "The suspect lost control of the vehicle in the 400 block of East Whittier Avenue, nearly struck two bystanders, drove up the south curb of Whittier and struck a tree."

Dickson said officers arrived to find the vehicle in flames. They performed CPR on Gray and one of her two passengers, 21-year-old Shelby Kraft, also of Hemet, and used fire extinguishers to contain the car fire, he said.

Gray was pronounced dead at the scene, and Kraft was transported to Hemet Valley Medical Center, where she died a little more than an hour after the crash. The surviving female occupant of the car was hospitalized in critical condition.

Investigations were under way into the pursuit and weekend shootings.


Original Article from Tuesday

A suspect was attempting to flee from Hemet police today when he lost control of his vehicle, which slammed into a tree, killing him and one of his two passengers, authorities said.

The pursuit began around 2 a.m. on Oakland Avenue near State Street, according to Hemet police Lt. Eric Dickson. He said a patrol unit spotted a vehicle that matched descriptions given by witnesses to several shootings in the area on Sunday.

An officer stopped the motorist and made contact with him and his two passengers. As the lawman spoke with the driver, the man unexpectedly threw his car into gear -- nearly striking the officer -- and sped away, according to Dickson.

Officers gave chase, tailing the suspect as he headed through southeast Hemet at speeds in excess of 100 mph, Dickson said.

"The police units were unable to safely match the suspect's speed and dropped back," the lieutenant said. "The suspect lost control of the vehicle in the 400 block of East Whittier Avenue, nearly struck two bystanders, drove up the south curb of Whittier and struck a tree."

Dickson said officers arrived to find the vehicle in flames. They initiated CPR on the driver and a female passenger and used fire extinguishers to contain the car fire until first-responders arrived, according to the lieutenant.

He said the driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and the woman died at the hospital a short time later. The surviving occupant of the car was hospitalized in critical condition.

None of the parties were immediately identified.

An investigation into the pursuit and weekend shootings was under way.

concerned citizen August 22, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Finally, some good news.Thank God the criminals died and not innocent people. Got what they deseerved.
sal August 22, 2012 at 05:23 AM
That was my cousin who passed away in that car crash.....no one deserves to die I am grateful that innocent people were hurt but she did not deserve to die at twenty one years old.
Mariana Zuelsdorf August 22, 2012 at 07:54 AM
Oh, so very young; I'm so sorry for your loss. Some times it's easy forget that there are consequences to behavior.
Norma Nieto August 22, 2012 at 01:43 PM
The first person who commented, first of all noone deserves to die, thats on gods timing,,, sum ppl just dnt know how to keep there nose out of others ppls business, there so bord with themseves that they have alot of @%#* to say....!!!!!! Smdh,,,,
ATC August 22, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I agree with CC; the driver got what he deserved, and the passenger...well, it appears that she should have been a bit more careful in choosing who to hang out with, eh? As I've told my kids; you ARE who you hang out with. If you hang with low-lifes, then you ARE a low-life.
concerned citizen August 22, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Thanks Gary. The only idiots who defend creeps like these are criminals themselves or have the criminal mentality. At 100mph, they had no regard for the lives of others. They didn't care if they would have killed innocent children at play. Again, got what they deserved.
Vince August 22, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Well then Norma, by your reasoning (and/or belief system) it appears to have been a God Sanctioned Event...therefore, all true believer's should rejoice in the outcome, doncha ya think? Fact is, it cheered me up some to read the story,,,Praise The Lord...jes' sayin'.
ATC August 22, 2012 at 04:31 PM
They also may have been involved with an earlier shooting...which is why the police stopped them in the first place. Possibly involved in 4 different shootings 2 days earlier, cruisng around at 2am, running from police at 100mph on city streets, nearly hitting 2 bystanders...Sorry, no sympathy from me.
Aguilera from Banning August 23, 2012 at 04:49 AM
It's never good news when somebody loses their life. Poor fools.
sarah August 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM
WOW,gary and "concerned citizen", karma has a way of coming back to whip u in the ass. make your words sweet as honey you never know whren you may have to eat them. i hope u never have to see ur daughter, son or any loved one get caught in a bad situation and loose their life beacuase of it.... however life or "god" just may want to teach u a lesson about judging others so consider that before you open your cold hearted mouth again.
ATC August 23, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Sarah, perhaps Karma was already at work here. Why did the driver run? What were they doing that they felt it was necessary to put the public's life in danger, at speeds of 100mph? They didn't get "caught in a bad situation"...they created the bad situation. My kids have done some stupid things...But I've never tried to justify those things or defend those things. On the contrary, they know that they must live (or die) with the consequences of THEIR actions, and hopefully learn from them. They also know that if they are hanging with someone who breaks the law, then they are also guilty of breaking the law, so they should choose their friends wisely. Perhaps if more parents felt that way, rather than trying to blame others when their kids do wrong, maybe there would be fewer incidents like this in the first place. Yes, the whole thing is sad. But what's worse is that NONE OF IT had to happen. THEY caused it. Period. Karma?
Vince August 23, 2012 at 04:43 PM
No matter what you may believe---God cannot be everywhere, at all times, looking over everyone's shoulder who is alive (or otherwise) on Earth...So, much like your PC, there is a "program", a "chip", an "application", whatever you may want to liken it to, that came along with our human form, attached to our "Hard Drives"---or to be more accurately understood in my context: Soul's...and this is inherent within each of us, and it is akin to a "Background Program" not picked up by our "Internal Task Manager"...yet it IS there running, yet unless you know what, and how to look for it, it can easily be missed. And that " Little Voice", "Gut Feeling". "ESP Episode", Guardian Angel, or even DIRECT CONNECTION TO GOD; call it what you will, "hard wired" BY God into our Eternal Souls is working full bore, 24-7---while we are awake, or asleep, and it is monitoring everything around us, and is watching out for us...and many people are aware of this fact, and do pay attention to those bits of info given all via this program constantly...and those who don't? Well, it is MY feeling that those are the ones that slam into a tree, or whatever mishap may befall them, and die, thanks to their discounting, or ignoring the *WARNING* they have been given---and that warning is given often in the most subtle manner, or it can be quite LOUD AND CLEAR at times. Cont.
Vince August 23, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Cont.: So God's hands are off of deals like this, and it all comes down to a personal choice and the probability of someone having cast aside whatever CAUTIONS may have come to mind via THE GOD CHIP, and still barreled on ahead into eternity...So therefore, this terrible ending isn't God's Will, but rather is a really stOOpid, and unnecessary fork-up on the part of whomever suffered the consequences... And I guarantee, there WERE warnings given in some form or another, over minutes, days, weeks, months, or years...and they weren't heeded is what it comes down to, and so, the end result speaks for itself. And that is what FREE WILL is all about. OR, for those who do not believe in a Higher Power, it just turned out to be some really crappy luck o' the draw for these kids.
Aaron Alexander August 23, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Yea, nobody deserves to die, not people walking down a sidewalk or living inside their homes with their families enjoying the possessions they purchased by working hard. The sad part to this story is this justice happens very infrequently. Typically it's innocent who are harmed, cops sued, or these scum sitting in cells we end up paying for so they can later return and rob us again.
Francine Skoglund August 24, 2012 at 10:35 PM
well said sarah
A.Friend August 25, 2012 at 05:23 AM
First off, saying "they deserve to die" is a low blow because one, you do not know the whole story. The police wanted to question the driver, that does not mean she was committed to any shootings. Next she could had different motives to speed off, not the best decision, but people sometimes forget to think in certain situations. As for driving 100mph obviously you need to drive that fast to get away, also it was at 2am if innocent people are walking the streets at that time, chances are they are not so "innocent" two girls died today, yes for poor judgment but your words make you no better than anyone. The way you point fingers to these girls remember three more are pointing back at you. Rip Shelby and Crystal, you were loved by many, & never believe you deserved to die. Also I am their friend who just finished my BA degree. People should never judge someone based on friends, some friends can be good and some friends can make bad decisions. Get over it. You people make sick with your malicious words towards two young girls who lost their lives.
Christine Blake August 28, 2012 at 07:52 PM
The driver is at fault, as she was the one driving. I feel badly for the other two who were, basically, trapped. The police had their reasons for stopping the car and she had a reason for running, which any sane, logical, thinking person knows it means she had something to hide. How can any of you defend her? She could have killed one of your loved-ones, driving like that. She was 33, not a "girl" and had a sketchy past. God (or whatever other fairy tale you want to believe in) had nothing to do with this or he would have saved the woman who was pregnant, so her innocent baby didn't die. The driver has blood on her hands and would be serving time, had she survived.
Shelly September 07, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I do not condone what was done. But Gary and concerned citizens it is not a fellow criminal who is defending the three women in the accident. I am the step mother of the drivers daughter and it is not fair to that little girl who just lost her mother to see such horrible comments. You didn't think about that did you as she is an innocent in this situation. No they should have never ran from police but saying somebody got what they deserved in death is WRONG! My step daughter has seen comments like yours on another site and she cried for days. Thank god innocent were not harmed due to the chase but innocent family members have to deal with the grief of there lost loved ones regardless of the life style they lived. Crystal Gray was a good person and because of drugs she made some bad choices. You people should stop and think because it is you who are hurting innocent people(my step daughter)
Aaron Alexander September 07, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Shelly I'm sorry for your granddaughters but not for anything I have said. The only person to blame is her mother for doing what she did. We are just stating the obvious. We are commenting on the news. You also ignore any potential victims or their families opinions and think of only yourself and family.
Shelly September 07, 2012 at 10:22 PM
No I did not ignor potential victims or their families, I said innocent family members. I am not thinking my self at all i am thinking of my STEP DAUGHTER not grandaughter. I also said I did not condone what was done. Every body knows it was the drivers fault but as I said no one should ever say someone DESERVED TO DIE. If my step daughter or the mothers of the other people in the car was standing before you would say that to their face!
Washy September 08, 2012 at 12:25 AM
This is a comment forum where comments AKA opinions will be posted. It is set up as a discussion forums. Don't try to tell people what they can and cannot post here, it is their online time, if it affects your online time perhaps you might want to log off. I am sad these girls were killed but am very glad it was them and not someone innocent. It is horrible a child is without her mom, but really wasn't she going to lose her to prison or death if she didn't stop her ways sooner or later, and at least now the child has a chance to be raised with proper morals and values....(MY OPINION)
eric daniel October 03, 2012 at 08:46 PM
so sorry about this horrible story i will love you forever crystal.! eric.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something