Long Beach police chase takes life of local dog walker


Oceana Christopher

Memorial to Jessica Bingaman

Oceana Christopher, Staff writer

Driving through Long Beach’s historic Belmont Heights neighborhood memorial flowers, cards and candles can be seen at the intersection of 3rd street and Temple avenue, the site of last weeks fatal crash that left one woman and five dogs dead.

The woman was fatally injured when a driver in a stolen van being chased by Long Beach Police crashed into her SUV at 80 mph, killing five of the six dogs she was transporting as part of a dog daycare service; the victim, who has been identified as Jessica Bingaman, 41, is survived by her 10-year-old daughter Reagan Bingaman.

The fatal crash occurred when Javier Olivarez, 44, of Los Angeles — an individual described by police as a known gang member who had violated parole — ran the stop sign and T-boned Bingaman’s SUV while attempting to outrun the police who were detaining him for driving a stolen vehicle.

Local resident and yoga instructor, Irene Holsters, who was present at the vigil asked Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna why the police were pursuing the suspect through a neighborhood at 80 mph in the first place, he said, “The entire incident took place within a span of two minutes. However, the incident will be thoroughly investigated to ensure that proper guidelines were followed.”

3rd District Councilwoman Suzie Price, who organized the vigil, said, “Long Beach is a diverse city but in moments like these it feels like a village.”

Neighbors left flowers, held candles and collectively sang ‘Amazing Grace’, afterwards 2nd District Councilwoman Jeannine Pierce spoke about the tragedy and the need for the community to heal.

A GoFundMe has been started to help the family cover the costs of the funeral and to help her surviving daughter under the name of ‘The Pawtenders’, so far $41,450 has been raised towards the $50,000 goal.