Suspect in high-speed pursuit identified, held on multiple charges

Suspect in high-speed pursuit identified, held on multiple charges
A high-speed police pursuit comes to a halt as the suspect's truck crashes on Rancho Vista Boulevard west of 14 Freeway on Feb. 23. (KTLA)

A driver who police say led California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Police Department officers on a winding high-speed pursuit through the San Fernando and Antelope valleys before surrendering Monday has been identified as a Palmdale resident.

Sean Druschel, 33, was arrested just before 7 p.m. after a lengthy standoff with authorities who had surrounded his truck after he slammed into another vehicle, police said.


He was booked on charges of evading arrest, assault with a deadly weapon, driving under the influence and having a controlled substance, authorities said. He is being held at the L.A. County jail in Lancaster in lieu of $100,000 bail.

The pursuit began about 5:05 p.m. at the intersection of Saticoy Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard when LAPD officers spotted a Ford pickup driving recklessly, said Officer Sara Faden.

The high-speed chase wound through Simi Valley, Porter Ranch, Mission Hills and Granada Hills, with the truck driving against traffic, careening through stop signs and ignoring red lights.

At one point, police said, the driver was traveling at speeds approaching 100 mph while heading eastbound on the 118 Freeway.

During the initial pursuit by LAPD officers, the driver was involved in two minor traffic collisions: one at the intersection of De Soto Avenue and Saticoy Street and another at the intersection of Rinaldi Street and Shoshone Avenue in Granada Hills, police said.

The CHP took over the pursuit once the truck began speeding northbound on the 14 Freeway, traveling at up to 135 mph, according to KABC-TV.

About 6:10 p.m., the truck spun out of control when CHP officers apparently attempted to use a maneuver to force it to stop. The truck crashed into a vehicle -- possibly one operated by the CHP -- on Avenue N in Palmdale and then continued on.

A female passenger exited the truck just after 6:10 p.m. in a gated community. She was detained by authorities and cooperated with them, KABC reported. No other details on the woman were available.

The pursuit came to a halt about 6:15 p.m. when the truck crashed into another car at the intersection of 30th Street West and Rancho Vista Boulevard in Palmdale.

A standoff ensued, ending when Druschel stepped out of the truck at about 6:55 p.m. and surrendered, police said.

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