Newport Beach crash ends with 1 dead, 1 arrested in stolen-vehicle chase

A car crash in Newport Beach in the 3000 block of Pacific Coast Highway early Sunday left one dead.
A car crash in Newport Beach in the 3000 block of Pacific Coast Highway early Sunday morning left one dead. The driver was arrested.
(Daily Pilot)

A car chase that began in Huntington Beach early Sunday morning ended in Newport Beach with a 42-year-old passenger dead and the driver of the car arrested.

A black Honda Accord was found on its roof in the 3000 block of Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Heather Rangel said. Ramiro Benitez was found dead at the scene, according to county coroner’s records.

The driver allegedly tried to flee but was arrested by Newport Beach police officers and transported to an undisclosed hospital for treatment of his injuries, police said.

Huntington Beach police said at around 5:35 a.m., an officer attempted to make a traffic stop of the reported stolen vehicle near Goldenwest Street and Ellis Avenue. A pursuit followed when the motorist did not yield to the lights or sirens of the patrol vehicle, police said.

The driver headed southbound on Goldenwest and headed east on Pacific Coast Highway, police said, driving at legal speeds before leaving downtown Huntington Beach, where the vehicle then increased its speed to more than 100 mph. Police said the chase was called off due to the “reckless and dangerous” speed of the suspect.

The Huntington Beach Police Department, the lead agency investigating the incident, said it would not immediately release the suspect’s name or charges in light of his current medical condition but asks anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident to call local authorities at (714) 536-5951.

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