3 killed in high-speed Border Patrol chase on San Diego freeway

Scene of Border Patrol crash in San Diego.
(San Diego Union-Tribune)

A high-speed Border Patrol pursuit Thursday afternoon ended when an SUV linked to a murder suspect went off Interstate 15 and into a Rancho Bernardo ravine, killing three of the four people inside.

Two agents were patrolling near Deer Springs Road when they decided to run the license plate of a black GMC Envoy about 1:05 p.m., Border Patrol Agent Tekae Michael said.

The freeway, along with Interstate 5, is considered a major corridor for drug trafficking and human smuggling, federal officials said.

An alert revealed the vehicle was associated with an armed and dangerous man suspected of murder and human smuggling. When the agents tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver sped off.


The vehicle was traveling at high speed when it crashed through a guardrail and a chainlink fence on the right shoulder of the freeway, ending up in the ravine just south of West Bernardo Drive about 10 minutes after they ran the plate.

Three people in the SUV died and one was hospitalized with major injuries, said California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez. None was identified.

It is unclear if the wanted man was in the vehicle when it crashed and federal officials did not elaborate on his suspected offenses.

Karen Kucher, Pauline Repard and Lyndsay Winkley write for the San Diego Union-Tribune.