2 killed after high-speed chase in San Bernardino

Two people were killed in a crash in San Bernardino early Monday after a brief high-speed pursuit by a sheriff's deputy, authorities said. 

A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy began chasing a speeding black Honda in the city of Colton shortly after 5 a.m., said Eileen Hards, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino Police Department, which is handling the investigation. 

The deputy tried to pull the driver over, to no avail, and "backed off the vehicle because he was driving so erratically," Hards said. The driver continued driving north at speeds estimated at 80 to 100 mph, Hards said. 

As the deputy tried to find the driver, he saw "smoke in the distance" and called it in to the Police Department, Hards said. 

The Honda sped through a stoplight at the intersection of Rialto and Mt. Vernon avenues in the city of San Bernardino, slamming into an eastbound 2008 Ford Mustang, Hards said.

The vehicles crashed through the fence of the nearby business M&M Alternators, hit its building and came to rest in the parking lot, authorities said. The impact was so great that the Mustang's engine came completely out of the vehicle and landed in the middle of the intersection, Hards said. 

"The Mustang was completely totaled," Hards said. "It basically took the front end off."

The driver of the Honda and the male passenger of the Mustang were immediately killed on impact, Hards said. The driver of the Mustang suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital, Hards said. There were no other passengers in the vehicles.

The identities of the vehicles' occupants had not yet been determined Monday morning, Hards said. 

The intersection of Mt. Vernon and Rialto was expected to remain closed for several hours, she said. 

hailey.branson@latimes.com

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