San Diego

2 Killed, 2 Injured in High-Speed Pursuit in Escondido

The four people inside the car were all between the ages of 18 and 21, police said

Two people died Thursday and two others were injured after a high-speed police chase in Escondido. 

Escondido police said officers were trying to pull over the driver of a PT Cruiser for a broken tail light and a red light violation, around 12:17 a.m.

Police said the unlicensed female driver stopped momentarily at the curb, but then drove off. The PT Cruiser reached speeds of 80 miles per hour on Grand Avenue, police said.

"We know that the female driver was unlicensed, but other than that, if there are any other reasons, we don't know," said Escondido Police Lt. Justin Murphy. 

According to police, the officer pursued the driver with the chase lasting under one minute.

Police found the PT Cruiser on Grand Avenue near Ohio Street. The driver had crashed into several parked cars, went into an embankment, knocked over a tree, and ended up on a sidewalk. 

Four people between the ages of 18 and 21 were inside the car. The driver and one male passenger were killed in the collision. The passenger who died was ejected from the vehicle, police said.

"I could hear someone stuck in the car, and she was screaming," said witness Yuri Urbano. "It was a really bad scream--from there it got quiet."

NBC 7 spoke to the girlfriend of the male passenger who died.

According to Maria Echevarria, he lives in Sacramento and recently came down to San Diego to work things out with her.

She said she is 13 weeks pregnant with their baby and the couple had spent Wednesday evening talking about baby names.

Echevarria added that she did not know any of the other passengers in the car.

One injured male passenger was taken to Palomar Hospital. A female passenger was transported to Sharp Hospital. Police said both were in critical condition. 

All four people were residents of Escondido and Vista, police said.

Roads were closed near East Grand Avenue between Ash and Harding Street for several hours.

Traffic investigators determined the PT Cruiser collided first with a Chevy S10 pickup, flipped upside down and came to rest on its roof.

Police are working on getting a warrant to search the car.

No other information was available.

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