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Murder charges filed in car chase that killed mom, 6-year-old son

Interstate 80 freeway in California. | Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Prosecutors plan to pursue murder charges against a driver accused of killing a mom and one of her 6-year-old sons in an East Bay crash while trying to evade police.

Ralph Ellsworth White III, a 20-year-old from Vallejo, is due in court Wednesday to be arraigned on several felony counts over the fatal March 23 pursuit, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Hercules police say they began the pursuit because of a stolen car alert that matched the Mazda SUV that White drove. White allegedly led police eastbound on I-80 before exiting on Willow Street in Rodeo.

When police tried to pull him over, they say White sped away and slammed into a car driven by 31-year-old Ryniqueka Dowell and her twin sons.

Dowell died at the scene. One of her sons died days later in a hospital. The other boy survived with a broken leg, among other injuries.

Authorities say White then jumped out of the Mazda and ran until police caught up to him at a nearby liquor store.

Officers booked White into the Martinez jail and he is expected in court Wednesday afternoon for arraignment on two counts of murder with enhanced charges for committing crimes while on bail.

Other felony charges filed against him include fleeing a pursuing peace officer, causing serious bodily injury, killing or wounding another person in a hit-and-run, carrying a loaded unregistered firearm and receiving stolen property.

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