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High-speed chase ends with death of driver

A high-speed chase originating early Tuesday morning in Riverside County culminated in a collision on Interstate 15 in northern San Diego County.

The incident commenced around 1 a.m. when a motorist reported being carjacked at gunpoint in Hemet, as per the California Highway Patrol. Subsequently, officers from the Murrieta Police Department spotted the stolen 2023 Toyota Camry, yet the driver declined to comply with commands to pull over and proceeded onto southbound I-15.

According to CHP Officer Mike Lassig, the CHP deployed a spike strip near Gopher Canyon Road, which punctured the two front tires of the vehicle. Nonetheless, the driver persisted southbound and approached Deer Springs Road in Escondido.

"The Toyota Camry veered to the left and entered the center median," Lassig recounted. "Subsequently, it struck a center divider and swerved to the right, traversing all southbound traffic lanes. Finally, it entered the shoulder area, colliding with the concrete k-rail in the right shoulder area before coming to a halt facing southbound."

Lassig stated that officers discovered the deceased driver, the sole occupant of the vehicle, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

During the investigation, authorities closed the right two southbound lanes, according to Caltrans and the CHP.

A SigAlert was issued for the affected area, resulting in traffic congestion during the morning commute on southbound I-15 through North County. By 10:45 a.m., Caltrans reported that lanes had been reopened.

Individuals with information regarding the incident were urged to contact the CHP's Temecula area office at 951-466-4300.


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