A California man was seen on video jumping out of a police cruiser that he allegedly stole. The alleged thief later died from his injuries sustained during the high-speed car chase.
There was a car accident in the Santa Clarita area on Tuesday. A California Highway Patrol officer responded to the collision. During the investigation of the collision, a man allegedly stole the police officer's cruiser.
He fled north on Interstate 5. The stolen police cruiser, a Dodge Charger, reached speeds of nearly 100 MPH while traveling east on Highway 138 near the Antelope Valley.
KABC-TV reported, "At one point, officials say the suspect also brandished a shotgun and assault rifle. The suspect was reported to have mental health issues."
The Los Angeles Times reported, "The man did not gain access to weapons that were inside the cruiser, officials said."
During the police chase, the suspect opened the driver-side door of the cruiser. While driving 45 MPH, the man jumped out of the moving vehicle. Video of the car chase taken by a helicopter shows the suspect having his feet taken out from under him and the back of his head slamming hard on the pavement. The man skidded down the highway as the driverless police cruiser veered off the road and crashed into a power pole.
California Highway Patrol quickly dragged the man off the highway because the damaged power lines were swaying and were threatening to fall on the road.
CHP officers then apprehended the suspect, who was unresponsive. Officers performed lifesaving measures on the man before paramedics arrived at the scene. The man, with major injuries, was transported to Antelope Valley Medical Center, where he was later declared dead.
Officials described the investigation as “complex.”
CHP officer Alec Pereyda said during a Tuesday press conference that it was standard procedure for police cruisers to be left running during a traffic stop, but the doors of the vehicle are required to be locked.
The suspect's name was being withheld until next of kin could be notified of his death.
(WARNING: Graphic video)
Police chase: CHP in pursuit of stolen police cruiserwww.youtube.com
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