Authorities are investigating after a California man died after hurtling about 400 feet across a river in his car after being pursued by police. David Callahan, 58, of Fresno hit an embankment of the San Joaquin River, launched into the air and landed on the opposite bank on Monday, Fresno Police Sgt. Bob Reynolds told CBS affiliate KGPE-TV.
Investigators estimate he was traveling at over 100 mph and did not try to stop before his silver Mercedes sedan launched over the river.
The street where police had last pursued Callahan dead ends into the river bluff. It is not clear if intentionally crossed the river or did not realize the river was there, Reynolds said.
The chase began at low speeds after police saw Callahan driving recklessly, Reynolds said. Callahan later sped up and police decided to stop pursuing him as he drove west away from city limits, Reynolds said.
"He went down to Barstow, hung a U-turn and hit the lip," witness Bryan Zollars told KGPE.
"Like at a hundred miles per hour, he cleared the whole damn river."
Authorities were called to the crash along the river shortly afterward. The California Highway Patrol has taken over the investigation.