One Dead After Crash Involving Stolen Car

High-speed chase ended when stolen car crashed into another car

By Lauren Steussy
|  Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012  |  Updated 3:19 PM PDT
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One Dead After Crash Involving Stolen Car

Brooke Ruth, North County Times

The crash Wednesday morning involved a stolen Ford Focus (right) and a Subaru Forester (left). The passenger in the Focus died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, according to the CHP.

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A high-speed chase involving three people in a stolen car ended with a fatal collision in Oceanside Wednesday morning.

Officers spotted the stolen Ford Focus driving near Cole Grade Rd. and Valley Center just after 9 a.m., according to Officer Jim Bettencourt with the California Highway Patrol.

The vehicle had three people inside it. The driver of the car, 33-year-old Jose Najara, failed to stop when officers attempted to pull him over.

Najara continued southbound on Valley Center Dr., reaching speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. The car crossed over the median and began driving the wrong way on the road.

The car crashed head on into a Subaru Forester. Neither of Najara's passengers were wearing seatbelts. The front-seat passenger sustained major injuries and died later in Palomar hospital. The rear-seat passenger also sustained major injuries but is expected to survive.

The 76-year-old female driver of the Forester sustained major injuries and was airlifted to Sharp Memorial Hospital. Bettencourt did not comment on her condition.

Najara was also transported to the hospital, but he is expected to survive. Once released, he faces several felony charges, including vehicular manslaughter, felony evading and parole violations.

It is unknown at this time whether drugs or alcohol influenced the collision.

The San Diego Sheriffs Department and the CHP are investigating.

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