LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A hit-and-run suspect who led authorities on a high-speed chase from the San Fernando Valley to the Antelope Valley has been identified by the California Highway Patrol.

A spokesperson for the agency says Christopher Druschel, 33, of Palmdale was originally wanted Monday on suspicion of reckless driving in Northridge before leading CHP and LAPD officers on a high-speed chase, reaching speeds of more than 115 mph on the northbound 14 Freeway.

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Druschel exited to surface streets in Lancaster around 6:10 p.m., nearly an hour after the pursuit began, and lost control of the vehicle, a Ford pickup, resulting in a collision with a patrol car.

Officers say Druschel was on probation for a prior drug conviction. They claim he fled because he hadn’t registered with his probation officer and didn’t want to go back to jail.

During the pursuit, Druschel managed to drive into a gated community, where one of the vehicle’s two occupants, a woman, fled on foot to a home.

CHP officers say Druschel and the woman live on the residence and have a child together. Neighbors say the family had just moved in.

The pursuit came to an end after the suspect vehicle plowed head-on into a stopped car at Rancho Vista and 25th in Palmdale, leading to a standoff with officers before the man surrendered.

At one point, however, smoke could be seen coming from the cab of the vehicle.

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A CHP spokesperson told CBS2/KCAL9 the suspect was trying to light a pipe that may have contained illegal drugs while inside.

Detectives are waiting on test results to see what was in the pipe.

The father and daughter struck by the suspect vehicle were not harmed.

Druschel was being held on $100,000 bail at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.

Officers say the woman who fled on foot won’t face charges, citing her claims she only ran because she feared for her life.


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