DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man died Thursday after crashing a stolen police cruiser into a tree in downtown Los Angeles.
According to police, the incident unfolded around 3:30 a.m. along the 110 Freeway in South Pasadena.
CBS2’s Jasmine Viel reported an officer was handing off a prisoner to the University of California Los Angeles campus and noticed what appeared to be a disabled school bus stopped in the island between merging traffic lanes.
The officer contacted the bus driver who told him he came across a downed motorcycle and that he pulled the motorcycle out of traffic, but was unable to locate the rider.
While the officer was getting additional information form the bus driver, he saw a man walk towards his police cruiser and climb in through the passenger door.
The officer ran back to his vehicle and a a struggle ensued.
The suspect was able to escape in the cruiser, and the officer was dragged momentarily along the freeway.
A short while later, California Highway Patrol officers received report of a crashed police cruiser at the northbound 110 Freeway transition to the eastbound 101 Freeway.
Paramedics pronounced the suspect dead at the scene. His identity is being withheld pending family notification.
The officer was treated for minor injuries sustained during the incident.
At this time, it remains unclear if the suspect was the rider of the motorcycle found on the freeway.
The incident remains under investigation.