Driver arrested after pickup hauling trailer smashes cars during slow chase

CARLSBAD, Calif. — A Vista man was in custody Thursday after driving drunk, crashing his pickup truck and trailer into several cars and leading police on a slow-speed chase from Carlsbad to Vista, police said.

Taurino Mariscal Martinez, 39, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of felony hit and run, driving while under the influence of alcohol and failure to yield to a police vehicle, Carlsbad police Lt. Jeffery Smith said.

A Carlsbad patrol officer attempted to stop Martinez’s 2002 Ford pickup truck and trailer about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Faraday Avenue and El Fuerte Street, Smith said. Police had received several calls about the truck crashing with multiple vehicles on El Camino Real, but when the officer attempted to stop the pickup, the driver refused to pull over.

Officers pursued the pickup at slow speeds on El Fuerte Street, Palomar Airport Road and Melrose Drive before officers were able to stop the truck using a spike strip in the 2400 block of Melrose Drive in Vista, the lieutenant said. The driver, whom police later identified as Martinez, got out of the truck before officers moved in to arrest him.

Alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the collisions prior to the pursuit, Smith said.

Martinez was booked into the Vista Detention Facility shortly before 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, according to jail records. Carlsbad police were investigating the crashes that led to the chase.