BASS LAKE — Sheriff John Anderson has learned that the two men killed this morning in a solo vehicle crash may be tied to an auto dealership break-in in Oakhurst over the weekend.
19-year-old Albert Hammond and 20-year-old Dylan Beazley died this morning following the wreck on Road 274 near Bass Lake. Both men were residents of Oakhurst.
Based on evidence found in the stolen 2001 BMW 740i, Sheriff’s deputies believe the pair may be connected to the theft.
The break-in occurred at the Sierra Auto Sales car lot located on Highway 41 in Oakhurst at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The thieves stole the keys to all the cars on the lot, along with the BMW.
Dan Roberts, who works at Sierra Auto Sales says, “I think they had cased the place, because they would not have had a clue where to look for the keys.” According to Roberts, they pried iron bars off the window, broke it, cut metal bolts and were gone in the 8 minutes it took for Sheriff’s deputies to arrive.
This morning, July 24, at about 4:30 a.m., Hammond and Beazley were traveling east along Road 274 in the stolen BMW at approximately 100 mph when they lost control of the vehicle in a turn, according to CHP. The car skidded sideways, hit the curb at the intersection of Lake View Drive, and went airborne, smashing into a large pine tree which was only about 20 feet from the home of Tammy Johnson and her family.
“We heard a loud noise about 4:30 a.m., but we have had bears in the area, one in particular, and we just thought it was the bears kicking things around,” said Johnson. They were sleeping in the “mother-in-law” quarters below the garage, on the far side of the house.
When they got up at about 6:30 a.., they were greeted with the bizarre scene of a car wrapped around the tree outside their window. They called 911, and when emergency crews arrived, they determined that the force of the crash would have killed the occupants on impact.
The Johnson’s house sits down a steep slope from the road, and the car hit the tree about 10 feet off the ground, completely demolishing it, and depositing the driver’s side window on the walkway that runs along the house.
At the time of the crash Dylan Beazley was wanted on a no bail warrant for narcotics.
Albert Hammond was out of jail, released last month, after his arrest for burglary, receiving stolen property, drug possession, and probation violation.
The auto dealership break-in is still under investigation. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.