Oakland police arrested a 17-year-old boy who was driving a vehicle that crashed into an apartment building in the city Saturday night, killing a 22-year-old man who was a passenger in the vehicle, a police spokesman said. The crash was reported at 11:18 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of 68th Avenue and International Boulevard, Oakland police Officer Jeff Thomason said. Prior to the crash, a California Highway Patrol unit had tried to stop a black 1997 Chevrolet Camaro that was traveling east in the 5900 block of International Boulevard at about 85 mph, according to Thomason. The pursuit ended when the vehicle crashed into a four-unit apartment building, he said. Oakland police officers arrived to find that the Camaro had struck a light pole, shearing it off at the base and sending it into the common staircase of the apartment building, Thomason said. The vehicle also struck the staircase and one of the lower apartments of the complex. Both the 22-year-old passenger and 17-year-old driver were trapped in the vehicle, and had to be extracted using th “jaws of life” equipment from the Oakland Fire Department, Thomason said. The passenger was declared dead at the scene. He was identified as Oakland resident Martin Contreras by the Alameda County coroner’s bureau. The driver of the vehicle was taken to a local hospital in stable condition. While fire officials were extracting the two people from the Camaro, they found two loaded handguns in the vehicle. The driver was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony driving under the influence, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle. He also has a prior arrest for DUI, according to Thomason. The driver’s identity is being withheld because he is a juvenile, Thomason said. The residents in the apartments were evacuated from the building following the crash, and those who were not able to return due to damage caused by the vehicle received relocation assistance from the American Red Cross, according to Thomason. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the traffic section of the Oakland Police Department at (510) 777-8570.
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