One man was killed and two men are in critical condition after a high-speed pursuit ended in a crash Tuesday night in Santa Ana, police said.
The pursuit began about 11 p.m. when an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull over a white Infiniti SUV in Tustin.
The deputy became suspicious after he saw a group of men running from a nearby 7-Eleven into the vehicle. The SUV sped off without its headlights illuminated, which led the deputy to suspect the store had possibly been robbed, said Santa Ana Police Department Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
“He wasn’t really sure what he had at that point,” Bertagna said.
Bertagna said the deputy lost sight of the SUV as the vehicle reached 100 miles per hour on surface streets during the pursuit. A few minutes later, the driver lost control of the SUV and it slammed into a tree near Chestnut Avenue and Lyon Street in Santa Ana, Bertagna said.
The front passenger died at the scene. The driver and another passenger were taken to trauma centers in critical condition after firefighters cut them out of the vehicle.
Authorities found handbags, clothing and shoes in the vehicle that they suspect is tied to commercial burglaries in the area. Police are continuing to investigate, Bertagna said.