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Anaheim police chase ends in fatal, fiery crash

Freeway crash
A map shows the approximate location where a van being chased by authorities became engulfed in flames after crashing into a wall.

A police pursuit ended in a deadly, fiery crash Monday night after a van that authorities allege was involved in a homicide crashed into a freeway retaining wall in Anaheim, Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials said.

The crash, in which the driver was killed, occurred at about 9:25 p.m. near East Frontera Street and North Rio Vista Street, said Lt. John Roche of the Sheriff’s Department. Flames engulfed the vehicle shortly after it struck a wall bordering the 91 Freeway, Roche said.

Authorities said the van matched the description of a vehicle believed to have been involved in a homicide in Tustin earlier Monday. Detectives were at the scene of that incident in the 18400 block of Warren Avenue in Tustin, the Sheriff’s Department said.

A woman who was found at the Tustin home died at a local hospital after being shot at least once, Roche said.

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Roche said the pursuit began in the 100 block of Franklin Street in Santa Ana shortly before the crash. Officers were watching a home they believed was connected to the Tustin homicide when they began to chase the van.

A portion of the northbound 57 Freeway was briefly shut down while investigators searched for an object that emitted sparks when the driver threw it out of the van, Roche said.

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