I-5 Car Chase Ends Near Encinitas

A pursuit that began in Orange County ended near Carlsbad when the suspect lost control of his vehicle

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A driver wanted for reckless driving in Orange County led officers on a 100-mph pursuit along Interstate 5 before crashing into a guardrail in the North County on Monday.

    California Highway Patrol officers from the San Juan Capistrano area began pursuing a 2007 PT Cruiser around 2 p.m. southbound along I-5 from Orange County.

    Officials said the driver, 37-year-old Robert George Baker III of Trabuco Canyon, was under suspicion of reckless driving and driving under the influence .

    The driver failed to pull over, officials said, and led CHP officers south into San Diego County.

    Oceanside CHP officers took over the pursuit once the driver reached Harbor Boulevard. They tried to lay a spike strip in front of the PT Cruiser to slow it down, but Baker saw the strip and swerved around it, CHP says.

    As he neared Encinitas, the driver intentionally made a hard turn right while going about 70 mph, according to officials.

    When he swerved, he clipped the front of a 2011 Toyota Camry. The driver, a 63-year-old woman from Carmel Valley, suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Scripps Encinitas Hospital.

    Instead of breaking through the barrier, Baker's car got stuck on top of the rail just north of Encinitas Boulevard and sparked a fire, which CHP officers quickly put out. Officers then placed the suspect under arrest.

    Officials say Baker told them he crashed into the guardrail to try to end his life. He was injured in the crash and taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital for treatment. 

    Once he is released, officers say he will face felony charges for evading and crashing.

    It's unclear if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.