Drug suspect killed in solo traffic crash in Oceanside while fleeing deputies

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A man found passed out early Friday in a pickup truck outside a northern San Diego County residential complex with what appeared to be narcotics in the vehicle fled when contacted by deputies, leading a brief road chase that ended in a solo crash that left him dead.

The events that led to the fatal wreck began shortly before 4:30 a.m., when a security company reported a burglar alarm sounding and an unidentified person walking around in a pool area at the complex in the 1900 block of Willow Ridge Drive in Vista, according to the county Sheriff’s Department.

Searching the property, patrol deputies found a man unconscious in a truck with pool-cleaning equipment in the bed and a substance resembling an illegal drug visible on a console in the cab, Lt. Jeff Ford said.

When the deputies woke the man, he hurriedly put the vehicle into gear drove off, Ford said. The personnel gave chase as the suspect fled north, but they soon lost sight of the truck.

A short time later, deputies spotted the suspect’s vehicle, which had crashed into a light pole at Cannon Road and Lake Boulevard in Oceanside, less than a mile from where the pursuit had begun.

The deputies tried to free the driver from the crumpled truck, but had to back off due to “overwhelming fumes” from pool chemicals, including chlorine, that had spilled in the crash, Ford said.

Firefighters eventually were able to extricate the suspect, and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. His name was withheld pending family notification.

One of the deputies involved in the road chase reported some type of ill effects from chemical exposure at the site of the wreck and was taken to Tri-City Medical Center, where he was treated and released, the lieutenant said.

Residents in the area were advised to remain indoors while hazardous- materials personnel cleaned up the toxic chemicals.

Categories: Local San Diego News