El Cajon

Teen Dies in Car Crash After Chase With Border Patrol in El Cajon

Jesus Saldaña, 19, died in El Cajon last weekend after his car was torn to pieces in a huge accident following a CBP chase

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A teenager has died in a car accident after a chase with Border Patrol, and now his loved ones are demanding answers.

Jesus Saldaña, 19, died in El Cajon last weekend after his car was torn to pieces in a huge accident following the chase.

"I want to tell him that I love him very much, to take care of us all and that he rests in peace," said Amairani Rodríguez, who was left devastated after the death of her boyfriend.

Rodriguez remembers him as a young man who was "very affectionate" with her and "with his whole family." Saldaña leaves a great void in his family.

"His name was Jesús Manuel Saldaña Rocha, but everyone knew him as "Meño" or "El Tigre,” and now only the memory remains.

The Border Patrol told Telemundo 20 that on April 23, Saldaña was involved in a chase with its agents on Interstate 8 at Buchman Springs Street, but the officers eventually lost sight of the car and ended the chase before the accident.

The California Highway Patrol later discovered Saldaña's car near I-8 and State Highway 67 in El Cajon. The teenager was found dead.

"I know he's resting and he's in a better place right now," Rodriguez says.

Saldaña's relatives say they don't know why he was being pursued by the Border Patrol.

"No, we have no idea why. The only thing is that I know he went to work in the morning."

Saldaña was dedicated to gardening and was passionate about soccer.

"Playing professional was always his dream. Everyone who knew him knew. Here in San Diego, he played with a lot of teams and on Sundays, he played with his dad."

Before his death, Saldaña was happy since in less than three weeks he was going to turn 20, and next week he was celebrating a special date with his girlfriend.

"On May 6, we were going to celebrate two years together," she said.

Saldaña lived in Pauma Valley with his parents and had three siblings.

Karla Saldaña, sister of the victim, shares a memory that will always stay with her, when "he broke a record because he also played football and was a kicker."

The photos that the family shared with Telemundo 20, reflect his passion for the field.

Photos: Soccer Star Dies in Accident After a Chase With Border Patrol in El Cajon

While the accident is being investigated, his relatives are planning what they never imagined: his funeral and they are doing it by raising funds, since they say they were not prepared for an expense of that magnitude, especially at his young age.

The family still does not know when they will say goodbye to Jesús Saldaña and wait for more information about the tragedy.

A Border Patrol spokesman told Telemundo 20 that officers allegedly tried to stop Saldaña while he was driving on I-8 because they believed the vehicle was suspected of smuggling.

Telemundo 20 asked the Border Patrol why the chase began but has not heard back. In addition, Telemundo 20 contacted the California Highway Patrol, but also did not give a reason why agents were chasing Saldaña.

What CHP did tell Telemundo 20 is that moments before the crash, alleged witnesses said they allegedly saw Saldaña driving at a high rate of speed and lost control crashing against a tree.

So far, it is unknown if drugs or alcohol are related to the incident.

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