A police pursuit in Southern California ended when the driver’s car crashed and burned, according to reports.
Police officers in Gardena found out that a SUV was stolen after running its license plate, according to the Los Angeles Times. They attempted to pull the vehicle over but the driver rammed it into a police car and fled the scene.
Gardena Police Lt. Steve Prendergast told the Times that the car went down Normandie Boulevard at high speed before hitting another car near a gas station. The driver then lost control of the SUV, and it hit a utility pole before it burst into flames.
— KTLA 5 Morning News (@KTLAMorningNews) January 10, 2018
1 Dead, 1 Hospitalized After Gardena Police Pursuit Ends in Vehicle Fire.
One person is dead and another hospitalized after a Gardena Police Department pursuit ended an apparent crash and a vehicle catching on fire Tuesday morning.#LosAngeles pic.twitter.com/fDwZNVu2XT
— Digital Surveillance (@Seccamsla) January 9, 2018
Officers were able to pull the driver out of the wreckage. The female passenger inside the SUV died of injuries.
“It was extremely traumatizing for officers,” Prendergast said of the incident. No officers were hurt.
Female passenger dies when SUV being pursued by Gardena police crashes; driver suffered unknown injuries. https://t.co/PFje39Ne2U
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) January 9, 2018
Passenger Dead, Driver Hospitalized After Gardena Police Pursuit Ends in Fiery Crash https://t.co/RPWIioSbAK
— Raymond M Cano Sr (@raycanosr) January 10, 2018
The driver will likely face a litany of charges, including possibly a murder charge in the passenger’s death. Other charges such as car theft, felony evading, and assault on a police officer are pending.
The vehicle, according to police, “immediately caught fire” after the crash. “This is a tragic situation all around,” a police statement read, KTLA reported. “Our thoughts are with the family of the woman who was killed in the crash.”