A road-rage incident followed by a police pursuit Monday led to the death of an innocent driver whose vehicle was hit by an angry motorist in a fiery crash, Whittier police said.
The collision took place about 11 a.m. in the area of Greenleaf Avenue and Whittier Boulevard.
According to police, an officer tried to stop a suspicious vehicle whose driver was engaged in an apparent road-rage incident. The driver refused to stop and a brief pursuit ensued, during which the driver allegedly tried to ram at least three patrol cars, which took evasive action to avoid a crash.
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The chase ended when the driver plowed into an another vehicle, setting that vehicle on fire.
The driver of the vehicle that was hit was taken to a hospital and later died from injuries, police said. The victim was identified by his brother as 61-year-old Isaias Cruz, a father of four.
The driver who allegedly caused the crash was arrested and has been identified by police as 34-year-old Kevin Vargas of Santa Fe Springs. An officer told reporters at the scene that Vargas would be booked on suspicion of felony evading and assault with a deadly weapon with other charges possibly to follow.
Anyone who witnessed the crash was asked to call Whittier police at (562) 567-9299. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.