Alleged burglar slams sedan into pickup truck, killing driver 

An 18-year-old driver, fleeing from police after allegedly burglarizing a Ritz Camera store, crashed into a pickup truck in Noe Valley, killing a San Francisco man early Monday, police said.

Luis Lara allegedly smashed a window at Ritz Camera on 24th and Castro streets around 12:30 a.m., loaded items into his Oldsmobile sedan and then fled eastbound on 24th Street, police said.

About five blocks from the camera store, Lara crashed his sedan into another man’s pickup truck in the intersection of Church and Jersey streets, police said.

San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina said Lara was driving at "a pretty high rate of speed."

The manin the vehicle was killed. He has been identified as John Avery, 57, of San Francisco.

An officer responding to the 911 call after the incident at the camera store was headed in the opposite direction on 24th Street when he spotted Lara fleeing the scene.

The officer turned his car around in an attempt to stop Lara, but "by this time the suspect’s vehicle was many blocks ahead," Mannina said. "The officer was never in pursuit," he added.

Mannina said Lara was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, but the extent of his injuries was unknown. Lara was arrested on one count of homicide and one count of burglary.

Staff Writer Adam Martin contributed to this report.

arocha@examiner.com

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