Vehicle Pursuit Leads To Gas Explosion In Indio

Tiani Jadulang

A high speed pursuit throughout the Coachella Valley, ended with a business going up in flames early this morning.

It all started with an alert the business owner received on his phone.

“It has never happened. It never happened, going towards the pumps, you know, but today it did happen, this guy was speeding maybe 75 miles per hour, that’s what I was told.” says Arnie Valencia, the owner of One Stop Taco Shop and its neighboring Sinclair Gas station

At just about 3 a.m., this morning, Valencia thought someone was trying to steal gas from one of his pumps, so he decided to head to his business right away.

“I jumped in my truck at 3 a.m., in the morning, the fastest I could to get here, and I see this accident happening.”

What he saw when he got to his shop was unimaginable.

Two of his gas pumps were missing as the result of a high speed chase that started in Cathedral City and ended at his gas station.

According to the Cathedral City Police Department, Zues Rico of Desert Hot Springs ran a red light Eastbound on East Palm Canyon at Van Fleet, which is where the pursuit started.

After Rico continuously crossed over Westbound lanes at a high rate of speed, heading into the City of Indio, the pursuit was called off.

“Everything was on fire right here.” Valencia says.

The driver eventually lost control and collided into two gas pumps at the Sinclair Gas Station, igniting a fire.

He was later arrested for driving while intoxicated, amongst other things, and booked into the Riverside County Jail.

With Valencia’s gas station now down two pumps, he says this will affect business.

“I mean accidents happened but this was to be prevented, you know.”

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