4 badly hurt when SUV crashes while fleeing Border Patrol

DESCANSO, Calif.  – A speeding SUV crashed along Interstate 8 near state Route 79 Tuesday when the driver lost control while trying to outrun Border Patrol agents, authorities said.

Agents tried to stop a Ford Expedition that was traveling westbound on the freeway near Buckman Springs Road in Descanso around 10:45 a.m. The reason for the traffic stop was not released, but driver refused to stop. He continued driving at high speed through mountainous southeast San Diego County, authorities said.

The driver lost control of the SUV as he approached slower traffic, and the Expedition drove off the road, went airborne and rolled down a dirt embankment. It came to rest on its roof.

Two of the five occupants were not wearing seatbelts and suffered major injuries when they were ejected from the SUV, authorities said. The other two passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries. They were all taken to San Diego hospitals.

The uninjured driver, who was only identified as a U.S. citizen, attempted to run from the scene, but Border Patrol agents took him into custody. He will face charges of smuggling immigrants into the United States, according to Border Patrol officials.

The other passengers in the vehicle were from Mexico, authorities said.

The names of those involved were not immediately released.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.