Crash near Pride Festival in Balboa Park leads to police chase on SR-94

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A man drove through a police barricade, led officers on a chase down multiple San Diego freeways and ultimately crashed — but was able to escape capture, police said Sunday.

The wild series of events began just before 10:30 p.m. Saturday, when a man behind the wheel of a black Honda Odyssey minivan ignored a traffic control officer and drove through a barricade at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street, continuing northbound onto Sixth Avenue, San Diego police Sgt. Michael Tansey said.

“The traffic control officer had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck,” Tansey said.

The driver made a few turns and ended up westbound on Washington Street near Fifth Avenue, where he struck a parked car occupied by a 29-year- old pregnant woman.

He took off and continued to flee officers — south on Interstate 5 to downtown, east on state Route 94 to Lemon Grove, then north on Route 125, Tansey said. That covered about 15 miles of freeways.

The man eventually exited on Lemon Avenue and officers kept up the pursuit through La Mesa before the suspect crashed into a San Diego Police Department K-9 Unit vehicle in the parking lot of the La Mesa Arts Academy on Parks Avenue.

After the crash, the suspect was able to get away from officers.

“The suspect fled from the car and eluded capture after an exhaustive search,” Tansey said.

Back in San Diego, the pregnant woman who was struck in her parked car complained of minor pain as a result of the collision, he said. No police officers were injured.

“There is absolutely no indication the suspect intentionally attempted to run anyone over with his vehicle, nor target anyone,” Tansey said. “It is apparent the suspect was merely trying to leave the area and then was attempting to elude capture.”

The suspect was described as a white man in his 30s, with close-cut hair and a dark colored shirt, Tansey said.

Western Division detectives, in conjunction with Traffic Division personnel, will be conducting the investigation.

Categories: Traffic & Accidents