The driver of a stolen U-Haul truck with an attached flatbed trailer was taken into custody Tuesday morning after an hours-long pursuit through Los Angeles and Orange counties that ended with the vehicle erupting in flames.
NewsChopper 4 Alpha flew over the pursuit as California Highway Patrol officers were in pursuit of the driver in the southbound 5 Freeway in the East LA area. Just before 6 a.m., the driver of the U-Haul hopped on to the southbound 605 Freeway in the area of Downey.
The chase entered the 91 Freeway in Cerritos, heading toward Norwalk. Minutes later, the pursuit headed into Buena Park in Orange County before continuing to Anaheim.
At about 6:13 a.m., the driver exited Euclid Street in the Fullerton area before getting back onto the 91 Freeway heading westbound.
Video from NewsChopper 4 Alpha showed the front tires of the U-Haul truck had been blown out, possibly due to a spike strip that had been deployed by CHP on the freeway as the pursuit headed back to Buena Park. At one point, the U-Haul truck was traveling at speeds of approximately 55-70 MPH before considerably slowing down to 15-25 MPH after the tire damage.
Shortly before 7 a.m., flames engulfed the right front of the U-Haul truck with heavy black smoke, forcing the driver to exit in Bellflower and abandon the burning U-Haul in the area of Beach Street and Bellflower Boulevard.
Firefighters quickly worked to extinguish the fire as it consumed the U-Haul truck.
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The male driver was taken into custody in the area of Park Street and Bellflower Boulevard after a brief foot pursuit in which he summersaulted over a fence and appeared to have trouble keeping a shoe on.
It was not immediately clear how the truck was stolen, but CHP says the pursuit began in Buena Park with Buena Park police at about 4:52 a.m. after the U-Haul was reported stolen.
The truck contained HVAC equipment, a motorcycle and other items.