A police pursuit that started in Garden Grove on Wednesday afternoon had a fatal, fiery conclusion in Costa Mesa.
According to Sgt. Juan Delgado of the GGPD, the incident began around 4:25 p.m. when officers sought to make a vehicle stop of a brown pickup truck in the area of Westminster Avenue and Harbor Boulevard..
The truck seemed to begin to pull over, but then accelerated and the pursuit began. The chase traveled through several cities and – during the pursuit – officers saw that the driver was armed with a firearm.
Police broke off the pursuit when the truck driver’s driving “became reckless” and was dangerous to public safety.
A police helicopter kept track of the vehicle, which was spotted entering the intersection of Victoria Street and Placentia Avenue in Costa Mesa where a traffic collision took place.
Shots were heard and officers were able to locate the vehicle near the intersection. The truck was blocked by the citizen’s vehicle it had struck; but its transmission remained in “drive,” causing the wheels to continue to spin.
That sparked a fire and the truck was engulfed in flames. The Costa Mesa Fire Department extinguished the flames and the driver – identified only as “male” – was found dead in the truck from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A firearm was found inside the vehicle.
Witnesses with information about the incident are asked to call Detective Estlow at (714) 741-5830.