Fiery sheriff’s pursuit in Fairfax district leaves one dead

Investigators examine a wrecked car at night.
One person was killed when a driver fleeing from authorities crashed in the Fairfax district Tuesday night.

A driver in a nearby car was killed Tuesday when an L.A. County sheriff’s pursuit ended in a fiery crash near the Original Farmers Market in the Fairfax district.

The pursuit began at about 10:30 p.m. when deputies stopped a gray Chevrolet Malibu at Melrose Avenue and Crescent Heights Boulevard for allegedly driving without headlights and lane straddling, according to Deputy Trina Schrader, a department spokeswoman.

The driver hit a deputy with his car and took off, Schrader said.

Schrader said deputies initiated the pursuit because the driver had committed “assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.”


They chased the driver until he crashed into a blue SUV at the busy intersection of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, about a mile from where the pursuit started.

The front of the Malibu caught fire, while the SUV was pinned between a tree and a building.

Firefighters took about five minutes to free the SUV driver, according to Nicholas Prange, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Schrader said the SUV driver, who was the only person in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office identified him as Jeeves Tangonan, 37.

The driver involved in the pursuit was taken into custody and is being treated for nonserious injuries at a hospital. Sheriff’s officials declined to release his identity.

The deputy hit by the driver’s car was treated on scene, then transported to a hospital for nonserious injuries.