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    Pursuit of DUI Driver Ends in OIS

    Pursuit ends with officers shooting, killing pickup driver

    By Debbi Farr Baker
    UNION-TRIBUNE BREAKING NEWS TEAM
    9:08 a.m. November 16, 2006

    SOLANA BEACH – An almost hour-long predawn pursuit of a suspected drunken driver in the North County ended with an officer-involved shooting in which the fleeing motorist was killed early Thursday.

    Two sheriff's deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers shot the driver of a newer blue Dodge Ram pickup after he rammed a sheriff's deputy's car and then tried to run down a CHP officer, sheriff's Homicide Lt. Dennis Brugos said.

    “After ramming the deputy's car he backed up and rapidly accelerated,” Brugos said. “When he was eight feet from the officers they fired on him.”

    He said the incident began at 1:25 a.m. when CHP officers tried to stop the pickup truck driver suspected of being drunk on westbound state Route 78 near Jefferson Street in Oceanside.

    The driver refused to stop, instead taking officers on a circuitous route, first heading north on Interstate 5 then to eastbound state Route 76. He then got off the freeway and drove thorough Oceanside surface streets before getting back onto southbound I-5, Brugos said.

    He continued south until Poinsettia Lane/Aviara Parkway, where he got off and headed west.

    Sheriff's deputies, monitoring the chase, set up two spike strips along North Coast Highway 101 at Leucadia Boulevard and then South Coast Highway at Chesterfield Drive but the man eluded both of them, the lieutenant said.
    “He almost hit a deputy who first put the spike strip on Leucadia Boulevard,” Brugos said.

    CHP officers then tried what they call a pit maneuver, ramming their cars into the back of the pickup to force it to spin out and stop.

    The first time, the truck spun but didn't stop, Brugos said. The second ramming spun the pickup again and officers were able to box in the vehicle between Lomas Santa Fe Drive and Estrella Street, across from the Solana Beach train station and right in front of Tidewater Bar and Grill, he said.

    Brugos said that as two CHP officers and two Sheriff's deputies got out of their patrol cars and moved toward the truck – by then it was about 2:20 a.m. – the driver rammed one of the cars and then suddenly accelerated rapidly toward one of the deputies, who was standing in between the vehicles. All four officers opened fire, mortally wounding the driver.

    The coast highway was closed Thursday morning from Chesterfield Drive in Encinitas, where it is called South Coast Highway 101, to Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach, where it is North Highway 101.

    The road is expected to remain closed for much of the morning.

    Officials also had to shut down one of the train tracks that runs along the coastal corridor, as well as the walkway over the tracks at the Solana Beach station and had to reroute trains to just one track. Buses that usually stop on the coast highway instead picked up and dropped off passengers on the east side.

    One Coaster train heading south was delayed about 15 minutes but no other significant delays were expected, said North County Transit spokesman Tom Kelleher.

    Bus riders were also affected by the road closures. Commuters had to be shuttled around the closure between Encinitas and Solana Beach, Kelleher said.

    No further information about the man who was killed was available.

    The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave during the course of the investigation, which is routine in such cases.
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    10-42Adam's Avatar
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