Carjacking suspect, victim killed in crash during pursuit
CORONADO (CNS) – A carjacker and one of her victims were killed when the pickup she stole smashed into at least one other vehicle as sheriff's deputies pursued the truck along the Silver Strand Thursday, a sheriff's lieutenant said.
Three other people in vehicles hit by the pickup or involved in separate collisions at the scene were hurt, authorities said.
The carjacker had approached two people as they were detailing the truck on Georgia Street in Imperial Beach about 7:30 a.m. The suspect threatened them with a knife and demanded they turn over the pickup, sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell told reporters.
“The woman working on the car ran away, left the scene, what have you,” Caldwell said. “The man working on the car was in the back seat and stayed in the back seat. And at that point, the female with the knife gets into the driver's side, and she drives away.”
Roughly 15 minutes later, deputies caught up with the truck several miles to the north, at Eighth Street and Calla Avenue, and tried to pull it over. The woman behind the wheel of the pickup refused to yield and sideswiped one of the sheriff's patrol vehicles while speeding off.
Deputies gave chase as the suspect fled to the north on State Route 75, also known as Silver Strand Highway, and entered Coronado, weaving wildly through slower-moving traffic.
Near Glorietta Bay Park, the truck got into a crash, overturned and caught fire. Deputies used fire extinguishers to douse the flames until engine crews arrived and took over, Caldwell said.
The suspected carjacker and the man who had been riding in the stolen truck died at the scene. Their identities were not immediately available.
A pit bull that had been riding in the stolen truck was thrown clear during the wreck and was apparently uninjured, officials said.
A witness described the dramatic accident as “exactly like a movie.”
“You know, you only see those things in Universal Studios, when you see cars crash and fire go by,” Genia Santini told KGTV. “(I've) never seen something like this in real life.”
The roadway remained fully closed Rendova Road for investigation and cleanup into the early afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.