Police Pursuit Ends With Crash That Kills Man, Critically Injures Daughter

SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A police pursuit ended in a crash into a utility pole, killing the driver and sending his 9-year-old daughter to a hospital in critical condition, authorities said Monday.

The chase started at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday when officers were called to a fish restaurant in the 1600 block of South Main Street on the report of a man pointing a handgun at a security guard, Santa Ana police Corporal Anthony Bertagna.

Officers spotted the car in the area, and the suspect sped off when they approached, Bertagna said. The suspect crashed into a utility pole in the 1400 block of West Warner Avenue.

The driver, a 40-year-old Costa Mesa man, was pronounced dead at the scene, but officers found his 9-year-old daughter trapped in the back seat of the car. Firefighters used hydraulic equipment to get her out, and she was taken to Children’s Hospital of OC in critical condition, Bertagna said.

The girl is now in stable condition, he said.

Bertagna said $13,000 in cash, a half-pound to a pound of cocaine and a loaded handgun were found in the car. The man, whose name was not released, was named in three no-bail warrants stemming from narcotics-related offenses.

The crash took out a SoCal Edison pole, which cut power to 14 customers. Crews were working to restore power to those homes.

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