PALMDALE — The driver of a Ford pickup truck was arrested after leading police on a wild chase from Northridge to Palmdale, where he surrendered after more than a half-hour standoff.
The California Highway Patrol identified the suspect as Sean Christopher Druschel, 33, of Palmdale. He was arrested around 6:56 p.m. Monday on suspicion of felony evading, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and being under the influence of a controlled substance, according to a CHP report.
The chase began shortly after 5 p.m., when police wanted to pull the driver over for reckless driving. He tried to ram a police car, then went on the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway near Chatsworth, going west toward Simi Valley, authorities said.
Both California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Police Department helicopters tracked the vehicle as it reached reported speeds of more than 100 mph on the northbound Golden State (5) and Antelope Valley (14) freeways.
At times, the suspect drove his vehicle on the center diver and on the right shoulder, according to the CHP report.
“When they got into the Antelope Valley area, which starts in Acton, the Antelope Valley area CHP officers took over that pursuit,” said CHP Officer Gil Hernandez.
The suspect exited the 14 Freeway on Avenue N and proceeded westbound, driving on the wrong side of the road, failing to stop at red lights, and reaching speeds of 120 mph, according to the CHP report.
The suspect made a left turn onto southbound 50th Street West and lost control, spinning clockwise. As the driver continued to spin around, CHP attempted to disable the suspect’s vehicle by ramming the rear of the truck, according to the CHP report. The suspect managed to keep going, and the pursuit continued.
“The suspect slowed down to approximately 10 mph, and the right front passenger fled the vehicle and entered a house. One of the CHP Officers immediately stopped at the residence and set up a containment with the assistance of LASD Palmdale Deputies,” the CHP report states.
The woman was detained but was viewed as a witness, rather than a suspect, according to broadcast reports.
The pursuit continued through various neighborhoods as the driver continued to drive in a reckless manner, the CHP report states.
The chase ended around 6:15 p.m. near Highland Avenue and Rancho Vista Blvd.
“A Pit Maneuver was conducted at Highland Avenue. The driver regained control of the vehicle and subsequently struck a vehicle head on when the suspect’s pickup truck collided with a small car,” the CHP report states. Then deputies and CHP officers closed in right behind the suspect.
Law enforcement gathered their resources, including a police dog, behind them. But the suspect ignored commands and remained inside his vehicle.
Broadcast footage showed smoke coming from the cab of the truck as authorities waited for the suspect to surrender. After more than a half-hour standoff, the suspect came out of the truck, surrendering shortly before 7 p.m.
Editor’s note: Article updated to include information from a California Highway Patrol report.
[Information via City News Service and a California Highway Patrol report.]