Suspected DUI driver finally pulled from burning car after 4 crashes


EL CAJON, Calif. — A San Diego man faces felony DUI and other charges after allegedly causing four crashes in a row as he sped through East County, including a fiery wreck that landed him in the hospital.

The string of collisions started around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday when officers say the 21-year-old was headed east on Jamacha Road in the La Presa area in a Mitsubishi SUV. The driver rear-ended a 73-year-old man in an intersection near Kempton Street and sped off, leaving the older man with minor injuries, authorities say.

The driver quickly caused two more crashes as he tried to escape but they “resulted in property damage only,” according to California Highway Patrol. Authorities did not share further details about whether the second and third collisions involved other drivers.

Police say the man carried on down the road, now headed west on Jamacha near state Route 125. He ran a red light and crashed into a woman driving a Kia SUV who had been trying to turn on to the highway with a green light, authorities said.

The crash caused the man’s car to flip and smash into a traffic signal, coming to a rest on its side. The SUV caught fire with the driver still trapped inside, CHP said, but people who had seen the crash rushed over to help get the vehicle upright and pull the man out.

He was badly hurt, and the woman from the Kia had minor injuries, according to CHP. Police believe the man was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crashes.

After receiving medical treatment, the man was taken into custody on suspicion of felony DUI. Anyone who may have witnessed the reckless driving spree was asked to call CHP at 619-401-2000.

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