Man crashes, ditches passenger after seeing police
Police are still looking for a driver who sped away from officers going far too fast, then abandoned his injured passenger after crashing.
The car was already traveling fast when it passed a patrol car headed in the opposite direction on Fillmore Street late Monday night. The officer briefly turned on his lights, but didn't follow when the driver hit the accelerator and raced out of sight.
It wasn't long after that police discovered the same car had crashed into the center median at Fillmore and Stone Avenue. The passenger was still at the scene -- the driver, long gone.
"She went across the street. She was injured and treated by paramedics and fire personnel on scene. She just went across the street to get out of the lane of traffic," said Sgt. Carlos Sandoval of the woman left behind.
Sandoval said police were not trying to pull the driver over, but think seeing the officer might have spooked the driver.
"We're thinking that the two cars were going opposite directions and [the driver] became a little ... they looked at the officer's car and thought maybe that they were looking for him for a traffic stop and just took off on us."
He wasn't sure how fast the car was going when it crashed, but said from the looks of the crashed vehicle, it was "a pretty extensive speed."
Sandoval told 11 News officers hadn't confirmed if the driver had any warrants, but believe he was trying to avoid an encounter with police.
"We think that ... he was just trying to get away from us, trying to not have us contact him. So we're thinking that he just left [the crash site] on foot just to avoid our contact."
Police say they do know who the driver is, but did not give his name to 11 News.
Once found, the driver will face several traffic-related charges including hit-and-run and leaving the scene of an accident. Because the passenger broke her arm, he will likely face felony charges of reckless driving resulting in serious bodily injury.