A traffic stop turns into a five-minute car chase through a San Marcos neighborhood. It ends in a fiery crash, killing two people.
It was a phone call Vincent Crayton never expected to receive.
"It's kind of hard to believe that it happened; we all grew up together," said Vincent Crayton, cousin of Charles Crayton.
He knew both men killed in the crash early Monday morning; one of them being his cousin, 43-year-old Charles Crayton.
"They played baseball together. Charles was an electrician and Fabian played baseball. On our spare time, we all hung out together. It was just a family event, you know, we were considered family. We were like brothers," said Crayton.
The San Marcos Police Department says it was around 3 a.m. when one of their officers was trying to stop a driver for signs of impairment. Instead of stopping, the driver fled, leading police on a five-minute chase through the Rio Vista neighborhood. Other officers were called for back-up.
Police say the driver was speeding down the street, didn't see the roundabout and crashed right into it. It didn't stop there, we're told the vehicle continued rolling out into a median and burst into flames. Police say that was due to the high rate of speed and damage done to the front of the vehicle.
"It's never a good idea to run from police. It's of course also not a good idea to drive intoxicated, but if you find yourself in that situation just stop," said Assistant Chief Chase Stapp, San Marcos Police Department.
Neighbor Marcus Natal woke up to the sound of the crash.
"I just live over here and when the car got heated and the flames got higher, you felt the heat," said Marcus Natal, neighbor.
Officers found the driver trapped inside and the passenger, Charles Crayton, was ejected. Both died on scene
"The officers, one in particular put his life at risk and tried to get the driver out while being pretty much surrounded by flames. He wasn't able to do so but they tried and we want to commend them for that," said Stapp.
Flowers were taken to the crash site Monday afternoon as family and friends mourn the loss of both men.
"They're going to be missed. Truly missed, both of them, from the bottom of our hearts and San Marcos. Everybody knew them and we're going to miss them," said Crayton.
It will take a week to a month for officers to reconstruct the crash for their investigation. They want to find out the speed upon impact and if the car went airborne.
The identity of the driver is not yet being released and an autopsy is pending.