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Driver who led authorities on deadly pursuit was acting erratically before chase, officials say

A motorist who led authorities on a deadly pursuit in Orange over the weekend was acting erratically and was believed to be armed when the chase began in the parking lot of a California Highway Patrol office, authorities said Sunday.

The pursuit began about 7:25 p.m. Saturday at a CHP office in Santa Ana, Orange police Lt. Mike Monjaraz said.

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The suspect “was acting erratically and a citizen reported that the subject had brandished a possible firearm,” police Sgt. Rob Thorsen said.

The pursuit ended in Orange, when the van drove off Orange Olive Road north of Riverdale Avenue, near a railroad bridge, and caught fire, Monjaraz said.

The driver was the only person inside the vehicle. His name was to be released after his survivors are informed, according to the coroner’s office.

Orange police asked anyone with any information regarding the death to call (714) 744-7444.

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