Law enforcement agencies across the country are coming to the conclusion that engaging in a high-speed pursuit may not be worth the risk. When law enforcement officers pursue lawbreakers, it can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. The risk factor increases significantly not only to the vehicle being pursued and the law enforcement officers but also to other vehicles and innocent bystanders.
KTLA reported about such a situation which unfolded last week in Orange County in Santa Ana, leaving five people injured. Santa Ana Police Department Officer, Corporal Anthony Bertagna said in a statement that the accident happened at approximately 4:10 a.m. on Wednesday morning when officers attempted to pull over a vehicle after noting a number of violations.
Rather than pulling over, the driver took off from the westbound lanes of 17th Street and headed toward Garden Grove. Police officers gave pursuit.
During the chase, the driver of the suspect vehicle ran a red light at the intersection of 17th Street and North Euclid and collided with a car being driven by a woman in her 40’s who had been traveling southbound.
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Police caught up to the suspect vehicle and identified the driver as Luis Enrique Ortiz, 31, of Whittier. The driver of the car that was struck by Ortiz’s vehicle was injured along with three passengers in her car. Ortiz was also injured in the crash, and was taken to the trauma center at an area hospital. He is expected to survive and authorities are expected to arrest Ortiz for evading causing injury and other charges.
The woman, whose identity has not yet been released, was taken to the intensive care unit of an area hospital with head trauma and several broken bones. The three passengers in her vehicle, two men and a woman, also suffered injuries. No further information has been given as to their identity or the status of their injuries. They are, however, also expected to survive.
The California Highway Patrol is currently investigating the incident.
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