Pursuit suspect dies after jumping out of a stolen CHP cruiser at a high rate of speedget the free app
A driver who led police on a pursuit after stealing a California Highway Patrol cruiser around noon Tuesday has died after jumping out of the car during the pursuit.
The pursuit began a little before 11:40 a.m. after officers received word of a reckless driver report in the Newhall area. The officers encountered the driver on the northbound I-5 Freeway at Hasley Canyon Road.
The suspect eventually crashed his Toyota Corolla but managed to steal the CHP cruiser shortly after. The pursuit continued to the Lancaster area where the suspect jumped out of the car at a high rate of speed.
The driver jumped from the moving vehicle after one of the rear tires went flat due to a spike strip, leaving him struggling to control the cruiser. The cruiser wound up knocking down a power pole before coming to a stop in a grassy area next to the freeway.
CHP officers treated the suspect at the scene before paramedics transported him to a hospital. The man died at the hospital, according to the department.
A CHP spokesperson said it is standard procedure for officers to lock their cars while it is running and is unsure how the suspect stole the police vehicle.
"I do not know what happened in this circumstance, but it is standard procedure," said Officer Alec Pereyda.
Pereyda added that officers were concerned about the suspect accessing the firearms in the cruiser.
"Luckily, they did not become unlocked in the patrol vehicle, and he was not able to gain access to those," he said.
A week after the incident, authorities identified the suspect as 32-year-old John Figueroa Jr.
Police say suspect died
The California Highway Patrol announced that the suspect was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Driver bails out at high speed
At 12:25 p.m., the left rear tire became stripped and began losing tread.
At least two spike-strips were attempted.
The driver jumped out of the vehicle at a high rate of speed. The unit continued traveling and hit a telephone pole.
Officers caught up and dragged the unresponsive suspect off the roadway onto the shoulder.
At least six other CHP vehicles were at the scene.
About 12 officers surrounded the suspect. Some were treating the suspect.
The suspect's condition was not immediately released.