Car Crash Lands in Flood-Control Channel at End of Pursuit

The driver "tried to ram" officers, who opened fire before she crashed through a fence into the channel

By Jonathan Lloyd and Toni Guinyard
|  Thursday, Sep 5, 2013  |  Updated 12:37 PM PDT
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Police describe the series of events leading up to an officer-involved shooting after a pursuit. The pursuit driver backed toward officers before crashing through two fences and into a flood control channel. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Thursday Sept. 5, 2013.

Mike Tauber

Police describe the series of events leading up to an officer-involved shooting after a pursuit. The pursuit driver backed toward officers before crashing through two fences and into a flood control channel. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Thursday Sept. 5, 2013.

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Dramatic SoCal Police Pursuits

Southern California is notorious for its police pursuits. Recent months have seen a remarkable assortment of chases, from the infamous "money toss," to the man huffing on colorful balloons as police close in, to the pink-hoodied driver who sprinted from a getaway car while talking on her cell phone. As the moments from eight recent chases captured here illustrate, car chases defy logic and common sense, putting the police and the public at risk.
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Shots were fired Thursday morning at the end of a pursuit involving a woman who slammed through two fences and crashed a convertible Chrysler PT Cruiser into a flood control channel in Carson.

The injured 43-year-old Carona woman was taken into custody and no officers were injured.

The pursuit began in the Palos Verdes Estates area after a report of a reckless driver who failed to stop at red traffic lights.

"One of our officers was on routine patrol and saw a subject stopped in the middle of the roadway," said Sgt. Steve Barber, of the Palos Verdes Police Department. "The subject also made an illegal u-turn in front of the officer.  The officer tried to pull that vehicle over."

The woman entered the Torrance area before officers with that department stopped her in Carson. The driver began revving the vehicle's engine, spinning its wheels in dirt, according to police.

"Officers couldn't see too much out there because of the dust that was collected when the female was revving her engine and spinning her tires," said Sgt. Robert Watt, of the Torrance Police Department. "All they saw was her reverse lights on when she was backing into them at a pretty good rate of speed."

The woman reversed her vehicle toward the officers, who opened fire, said Watt. At least one of the patrol vehicles sustained front-end damage when it was struck by the subject's vehicle, Watt added.

"She tried to ram them as they were outside vehicle," Watt said.

The woman then crashed through a fence and the car dropped about 25 feet to the concrete bed of the Dominguez Channel. The vehicle landed on its roof.

Officers used a ladder to climb down into the channel and take the woman into custody. Responders used an access road to drive an ambulance and squad cars into the channel.

The woman, who suffered a concussion, was booked on suspicion of evading and assault a police officer. She was not struck by gunfire, police said.

The vehicle was towed from the channel later Thursday morning. 

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