A 20-year-old Navy sailor who challenged a San Diego cop to a race at a red light died when he crashed and rolled over, police said.
The chase started in the 5200 block of El Cajon Boulevard shortly before midnight when Herb McClenningham, 20, pulled up next to a patrol car stopped at red light, San Diego police Sgt. Joseph Steffen said.
"As if he was trying to engage them in a speed contest," Lt. David Rohowits said.
When the light changed to green, McClenningham took off at a high rate of speed. Police followed him as he quickly pulled down 53rd and back up 52nd.
"They had a difficult time keeping up with him," Rohowits said.
On an open stretch of El Cajon Boulevard, he went even faster.
"He was just too far ahead of them for them to be able to catch him," Rohowits said.
Around 54th street, they stopped the pursuit, deciding it was too dangerous to continue. McClenningham continued traveling eastbound between 70 and 80 miles an hour.
Two officers traveling in the opposite direction saw him as he slammed into a sign and flipped the car onto its roof.
San Diego Fire and Rescue pulled McClenningham out, who was pinned inside. The 20-year-old active duty Navy sailor died at the scene, according to the Medical Examiner’s office.
McClenningham is survived by his wife.