ESCONDIDO (KUSI) — The driver and a passenger who died in a solo crash during a high-speed pursuit Thursday were publicly identified Saturday by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.
Selena Matus, 20, was the driver and Luis Angel Echevarria, 18, was a passenger who was ejected. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
The events that led to the chase began about 12:15 a.m. Thursday, when a patrol officer pulled over a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser in the area of Midway and East Grand Avenue in Escondido for an equipment violation, according to Escondido police.
Seeing the rear windows of the car roll down, the patrolman chose not to approach and verbally directed the occupants, two men and two women ages 18 to 21, to step out, Officer Steve Braucht said.
A few seconds later, Matus hit the gas and sped off to the west. The officer gave chase as the PT Cruiser reached speeds of about 80 mph, gaining distance from the police car.
The Chrysler went over a hill near East Ohio Avenue and crashed into a group of parked vehicles on the north side of East Grand Avenue and overturned, coming to rest upside down, Braucht said.
The two survivors of the wreck were taken to hospitals, where they were listed in serious but stable condition.
It was unclear why Matus fled from the officer, Braucht said. The pursuit lasted less than a minute, he said.
Echevarria's cause of death was listed as multiple blunt-force injuries and Matus' was listed as blunt-force head and neck trauma.
4575 Viewridge Ave. San Diego, CA 92123