Deputy, driver hospitalized after chasing stolen van

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VALLEY CENTER, Calif. - At least one San Diego County Sheriff's deputy and a suspect were taken to a hospital after a stolen vehicle pursuit that resulted in gunfire early Sunday.

At about 3 a.m., deputies at the Valley Center substation received a radio call to be on the lookout for a stolen Honda Odyssey van, according to sheriff's Lt. Rich Williams.

The van was seen  near Valley View Casino, and with the help of San Pasqual Tribal Police, deputies attempted to stop it.

The driver stopped for a few seconds, then drove off at a high speed, narrowly missing a patrol vehicle, Williams said. Deputies pursued the van northbound on North Lake Wohlford Road onto Thundernut Lane, where the driver again stopped briefly.

When deputies walked up to the van, the driver attempted to drive into one of the deputies, causing the deputies to shoot, Williams said.

The driver again sped off, to the dead end of Thundernut Lane. He made a U-turn and sped toward the deputies, who shot again, Williams said. The driver struck two patrol cars, causing his vehicle to become stuck.

He was not hit by gunfire, but was taken to a hospital for injuries in the crash, Williams said.

Deputies discovered a dog inside the vehicle that had apparently been hit by gunfire, Williams said. The dog was taken to a local veterinary hospital for treatment, and was released after bring hit.

The driver was not immediately identified by deputies. He was still being treated for his injuries, which were not believed to be life-threatening, as of Sunday morning, Williams said.

One sheriff's deputy was treated for whiplash and released from a hospital, he said.

The facts surrounding the confrontation were being investigated by sheriff's homicide detectives.

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the Sheriff's Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321/after hours  at  (858) 565-5200, or the anonymous  Crime Stoppers tip line at (888) 580-8477