Two more die after Hartford crash caused by fleeing vehicle

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Two more people have died after a crash caused by a vehicle fleeing police early Wednesday, bringing the number of fatalities to four.

Hartford police on Thursday identified the victims as Maribel Rojas of Wethersfield and Edilberto Jara of Hartford, who were killed when their car was struck by a vehicle driven by 18-year-old James Figueroa of Hartford.

Police also were notified early Thursday that two passengers in Figueroa’s vehicle had died at Hartford Hospital. They were identified as Dante Rodriguez, 20, and an unidentified 15-year-old male, both of Hartford.

Figueroa has been charged with two counts of first-degree manslaughter, carrying weapons in a vehicle and other offenses. He is expected to face two additional manslaughter counts in the deaths of his passengers, police said.

Figueroa was held Thursday on $1 million bond and was scheduled to be arraigned in Hartford Superior Court.

The crash occurred just before 1 a.m. Wednesday when police officers, responding to a report of shots fired, tried to pull over a white Mitsubishi on Broad Street.

The vehicle sped away, then ran a red light a few blocks away in the city’s Frog Hollow neighborhood and slammed into the Ford Taurus carrying Rojas and Jara.

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