LANCASTER – A man allegedly stole a California Highway Patrol vehicle Tuesday and led officers on a chase that ended when he jumped from the speeding cruiser in the Lancaster area, suffering fatal injuries.
According to the CHP, at around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday, March 28, officers responded to reports of a red Toyota Corolla being driven recklessly on the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway. The driver subsequently crashed the vehicle on the freeway just north of state Route 126, according to a statement from the CHP.
A CHP officer arrived at the scene to investigate, and during that investigation, the Corolla driver jumped into the officer’s cruiser and fled the scene, according to the CHP.
Officers began chasing the suspect north on the freeway near Hasley Canyon Road, continuing onto state Route 138 in the Antelope Valley. At some point, the suspect struck a spike strip, which would up flattening one of the rear tires, causing the suspect to being losing control of the speeding vehicle.
The suspect then opened the driver’s side door of the cruiser and jumped from the moving vehicle, slamming his head on the pavement and skidding along the freeway. Media crews tracking the chase from above reported the car was going roughly 70 mph when the man jumped.
The patrol car then crashed into a power pole and came to rest in a grassy area next to the highway. An officer could be seen performing chest compressions on the suspect after the crash.
Paramedics were sent to the scene on SR 138 near 90th Street West at about 12:30 p.m., and the man was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to the CHP.
The suspect’s name was not immediately released, pending notification of relatives.