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2 Die in Border Patrol Chase on I-5

From a Times Staff Writer

Two people died Friday night during a U.S. Border Patrol chase on Interstate 5 near Cristianitos Road just south of the Orange County line, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A CHP dispatcher said details were sketchy, but that a collision occurred in the northbound lanes about 9:20 p.m., killing one person. After the collision, the dispatcher said, a man being chased by the agents left his vehicle and jumped to his death from a bridge.

“We have information that the Border Patrol was involved in a pursuit that ended with a traffic collision,” the dispatcher said. “We have two confirmed fatalities. One because of the collision. One because he fled on foot and jumped off of a high bridge.”

The dispatcher said that an unknown number of people sustained injuries because of the collision.

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As of 10 p.m., all of but one lane of northbound Interstate 5 remained closed, the dispatcher said. Southbound traffic, the dispatcher said, was not impeded.

As of 10 p.m., all of but one lane of northbound Interstate 5 remained closed, the dispatcher said. Southbound traffic, the dispatcher said, was not impeded.

In 1990, at least 12 people were killed on Interstate 5 in Border Patrol chases.

Critics of the Border Patrol checkpoint on the freeway near San Onofre say it has contributed to accidents, chases and the deaths of illegal immigrants who have tried to run across the freeway to elude authorities. At least 20 pedestrians fleeing the Border Patrol were struck by cars in 1990.

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