Nine people were hospitalized following a multi-vehicle crash that was the result of a car chase in Encinitas, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The short-lived pursuit began just before 8:30 a.m. Sunday in Encinitas when a high-speed driver in a Nissan Sentra refused to yield for authorities. CHP said the pursuit came to an end just minutes later in a crash at the intersection of Encinitas Boulevard and Via Cantebria, when the driver ran a red light and made an illegal left turn.
Pictures from the scene show three vehicles -- the Nissan, a Chevy Traverse and a Volkswagen Jetta -- stalled in the intersection, all with notable damage. One car in particular had the heaviest damage to its front side.
"We came out and saw the accident and we never saw anything like this," said Encinitas resident Alex Diaz.
Another neighbor told NBC 7 described the impact as loud.
"We heard a big crash and I told my son, 'I think something happened by the apartments' because we heard the big bang and after a while we heard more sirens," said Mauricio Manncilla. "Then, my wife called me what just happened
The driver of the Jetta was a 25-year-old Carlsbad resident, CHP said. The driver of the Chevrolet was a 32-year-old Encinitas woman who had her 1-year-old and 3-year-old sons in the vehicle. Authorities did not identify the driver accused of instigating the pursuit, but did say he was a 19-year-old man. They added the suspect vehicle had a total of five occupants whose ages ranged from 16 to 20 years old.
Authorities said no serious injuries occurred in the crash, but nine people were hospitalized as a precaution.
The 19-year-old driver of the Nissan is facing felony charges that include reckless evading of a police officer. Alcohol and drugs are being investigated as a possible factor in the crash.
The case remains under investigation.