(Merced sheriffs press release)
On August 20, 2019, at about 11:10 am, Merced County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were involved in a vehicle pursuit on Highway 99.
The pursuit began after Captain Steve Sziraki and Lieutenant Aaron Rosenberg was passed by a silver sedan traveling at a high rate of speed and driving erratically heading southbound on Highway 99 from the Livingston area.
The Captain and Lieutenant observed the vehicle swerving in and out of traffic and advised a deputy who was ahead of him that the vehicle was heading his way.
A short time later, Deputy Raul Garcia watched the vehicle pass him at a high rate of speed and attempted to perform a vehicle stop on the silver sedan.
However, the vehicle refused to stop and began passing vehicles from the shoulder of the highway and swerving in and out of traffic at speeds estimated to exceed 100 mph.
Deputy Garcia was joined in the pursuit by Deputy Lanford and attempted to get the vehicle to stop.
In about the area of Highway 99 and Franklin Road, the vehicle lost control and left the roadway crashing on top of the railroad tracks.
Deputies were quick to take the driver into custody and she was identified as 24-year-old Aleigha Freitas out of Turlock.
Additionally, the deputies were shocked to find a six-month-old baby strapped in a child seat in the rear passenger area of the vehicle.
Freitas and the baby appeared to be fine and did not sustain any injuries.
After speaking with Freitas, it was suspected she was under the influence of drugs and had a warrant for her arrest.
Both Freitas and the baby were transported to a local hospital to get checked out.
Freitas was then booked into the Merced County Jail for charges of felony evasion and felony child endangerment.
The child was picked up by Merced County Child Protective Services and currently in their care.