Fire-rescue crews extricated one person from an SUV Cothat overturned after a head-on collision with a car involved in a brief pursuit early Wednesday in Willowbrook that began after an attempted kidnapping.
The occupant was removed about 30 minutes after the crash, but details regarding the victim's condition were not immediately available. Aerial video showed the victim gesturing to fire-rescue crews.
The driver of the Nissan was taken into custody after the two vehicles collided at about 6:30 a.m. near 135th Street and Avalon Boulevard (map). A witness told NBC4 the driver ran north on Avalon Boulevard before he was tackled by deputies.
"Once he shot past the light, we heard a loud boom," said witness Duane Jackson. "We looked up and the car was on fire and another car flipped over."
The driver went through the red light at about 70 mph, said CHP officer Edward McElroy. The driver lost control and struck the SUV, which was eastbound on 135th Street.
Aerial video showed flames coming from under the hood of a Nissan Altima, which was eventually engulfed by fire. The sport utility vehicle was on its side next to a nearby light pole.
The brief pursuit began with a report of an attempted kidnapping at a Ralphs grocery store in Carson, said Sgt. Doug Murakami, of the LA County Sheriff's Department.
A female customer was standing outside the store when the driver approached her.
"He attemped to grab her and pull her into his vehicle," said sheriff's Lt. Carmichael Octave. "A struggle ensued for about two minutes. She subsequently broke away from his grasp, went inside the store. He then followed her into the store."
A woman at the site of the crash who identified herself as the driver's aunt told NBC4 he is a 35-year-old Wilmington man. Loretta Clark said he had been staying with her and acting irrationally before leaving the home Tuesday night.
"There was no kidnapping," Clark said. "He's not the type of person to kidnap."
Clark gave her nephew's name as Lawrence Dickerson and said he was mentally ill.
"He should be on medication," she said. "I've asked many policemen, will they take him?"
She said she had asked him to stay at home, but Dickerson insisted on driving around, saying he was under God's eye.
Avalon Boulevard was closed during the investigation between East Rosecrans Avenue and East El Segundo Boulevard.