Toyota Prius Leads Police Chase

A elderly man driving a Prius led California Highway Patrol on a slow speed chase on three highways Friday morning.

The pursuit involving the 87-year old Carlsbad man started on southbound Interstate 5 near Leucadia around 5:30 a.m.

An officer from the California Highway Patrol Border Division headquarters spotted the man driving very slowly, about 25-35 mph, and drifting from lane to lane on the highway. The officer tried to stop the driver using lights and siren but the Prius continued traveling soutbound on I-5.

He continued south onto Interstate 805 and eventually to the westbound State Route 52.

Several times, a CHP motorcycle officer drove up next to the driver's side of the car with lights flashing. “He was unaware of everything going on around him,” said CHP Sgt. Robert Cobb.

On the ramp to SR 52, officers used a spike strip and were they were able to deflate the right front tire of the Prius.

A police cruiser then pulled in front of the Prius and slowed down, allowing other patrol cars to corner the Prius on westbound 52 near Genesee.

Officers jumped out of their patrol cars without guns drawn. The driver stepped out of the car and talked with the officers. He apparently told them he was en route to the shoe store.

Officers said they would drive the man back to his home, cite him for failing to yield to emergency lights and siren and get a re-exam through the DMV process started.

“We had officers behind him, alongside of him and he still failed to recognize what was going on around him," said Cobb. "From my vantage point, it just seems like he’s probably too old to be driving and needs to have some drivers license action taken against him.”

No collisions took place and no one was injured.

“A good ending to a potentially dangerous situation here,” said Cobb.

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