Santa Clarita, CA – Aerial footage captured the moment when a suspect behind the wheel of a stolen police cruiser jumped out of the moving vehicle onto a California freeway on Tuesday (video below).
The incident began shortly before 11:40 a.m. on March 28, when the California Highway Patrol (CHP) was notified about a reckless driver in the Newhall area, CBS News reported.
Officers spotted the suspect traveling northbound on the Interstate 5 Freeway at Hasley Canyon Road in a Toyota Corolla shortly before the suspect was involved in a two-vehicle crash, according to KTTV.
When CHP officers pulled up at the site of the collision, the suspect somehow managed to get behind the wheel of one of their Dodge Charger patrol vehicles and sped away.
The driver reached speeds of 100 mph as officers chased after him down Highway 138, KTLA reported.
The pursuit lasted 90 minutes, according to the New York Post.
Officers were eventually able to deflate one of the cruiser’s back tires with a spike strip, which left the suspect struggling to control the stolen vehicle, KTTV reported.
He was traveling nearly 50 mph when he suddenly jumped out of the moving patrol car near 87th Street West and West Avenue D, according to KTLA.
The suspect’s head bashed off the ground as he slammed down onto the roadway, knocking him unconscious.
The driverless CHP cruiser continued traveling off the road and slammed into a light pole, KTLA reported.
Officers were concerned the damaged pole could potentially fall on the suspect, so they moved him to the side of the roadway and administered medical aid until he was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital.
An officer was seen performing chest compressions on the suspect at one point, KTTV reported.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the hospital a short while later.
His identity was not immediately released.
CHP spokesperson Officer Alec Pereyda said leaving patrol cars running with the doors locked is standard procedure and that an investigation is underway to determine how the suspect was able to gain control of the cruiser, CBS News reported.
Officer Pereyda noted that the firearms inside the car were locked and that the suspect was not able to gain access to them.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content: