The fatal collision happened around 12:42 a.m. in the intersection of 47th Street East and Avenue R, according to Palmdale Station traffic detective Jeff Perkins.
Mark Antuna was driving a 1990 Ford F-250 pickup truck, eastbound on Avenue R, when he failed to stop for a red light and ran into a Freightliner tractor trailer that was traveling southbound on 47th Street East on a green light, Perkins said.
“He[Anthuna] was involved in a pursuit prior to the fatal collision,” Perkins said, adding that the brief police chase began after deputies attempted to stop Antuna.
“It started on 12th Street East, just south of Avenue Q, and it ended on Avenue Q, at about 31st Street East,” Perkins said. “The watch commander canceled the pursuit because the speeds were getting too high and it was getting too dangerous.”
About four minutes after the chase was called off, Palmdale Sheriff’s Station began receiving 9-1-1 calls about the fatal collision, Perkins said.
“The deputies were not following the driver at this point,” Perkins said.
Only two vehicles were involved in the collision, and both drivers were the sole occupants in their vehicles.
Antuna was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he died of his injuries. The big rig’s driver, 34-year-old Raul Lopez of Littlerock, complained of pain to his right leg and shoulder but was not transported to the hospital, Perkins said.
The incident remains under investigation.