Published Letter to the Editor in The Fresno Bee
Tuesday, January 12, 2004

Make pursuits safer

In a 24-hour period, we had three high-speed chases through Fresno and Clovis. Two were for seat-belt violations, and as a result of one chase, a baby was injured.
Is it worth endangering innocent lives because someone is not wearing a seat belt? Sure, the suspects ran because they had drugs, but the pursuing officers could not have known that at the time.
I think our police do a great job, and heaven knows it's a thankless job. Most of us do not want to see these people get away, but I know first-hand the devastation that a police pursuit can cause. Two years ago this month my beautiful 15-year-old niece, Kristie Priano, was lost to us as a result of a pursuit.
I invite readers to go to the Internet and look at and read about pending legislation that will help to make pursuits safer for the public and the police, then contact their representatives and urge them to vote "yes" for safer police pursuits.
by Beverly Malvestuto

Note: When Beverly Malvestuto wrote this letter, she did not know that Adam McKinnis, 22, would die from his injuries. McKinnis, his wife, and 15-month-old son were on their way to church when they were T-boned by a suspect fleeing from the CHP. The pursuit began during a highway traffic safety campaign and the CHP began the chase over a seatbelt violation.

The chases that prompted this Letter to the Editor:

22-year-old dad dies; 15-month-old son still hospitalized after Fresno Chase
Fresno Bee, CA - January 2004
Adam "Bubba" McKinnis wanted to be a doctor and provide a decent life for his wife, Lorraine, and 15-month-old son, Aaron.  His dream ended Jan. 4 on a Fresno intersection when a speeding car driven by Christopher Williams smashed into McKinnis' family car, the California Highway Patrol says. Williams allegedly was fleeing from the CHP.  McKinnis, 22, died five days later of massive head injuries at University Medical Center. He will be buried Friday.

Six Innocent People Injured in Two Fresno Chases
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - Jan. 6, 2004
Fresno -- Two high-speed chases, one by the California Highway Patrol 
and one by Clovis Police, left six people injured this past weekend.



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