Huntington Beach

Chase is followed by fatal crash

THE PASSENGER in a car that led police on a high speech chase in Huntington Beach was killed in a crash in Newport Beach (Shutterstock).

A high-speed chase involving a stolen vehicle in Huntington Beach resulted in a fatal crash in Newport Beach early Sunday morning.

According to Capt. Tim Martin of the Huntington Beach Police Department, the incident began at 5:35 a.m. when a HBPD officer attempted to make a traffic stop in the area of Goldenwest Street and Ellis Avenue. The car was a black Honda Accord with two men inside, and it was reported as stolen.

A pursuit started after the driver of the Honda failed to yield to the lights and siren of the patrol vehicle.

The Honda traveled southbound on Goldenwest Street to the eastbound Pacific Coast Highway at legal speeds, but accelerated once it passed out of the downtown area, reaching a speed of over 100 miles an hour.

The chase continued toward Brookhurst Street and the pursuit was cancelled due to the “reckless and dangerous speed of the suspect vehicle.”

Minutes later, the Newport Beach Police Department discovered that the suspect vehicle was involved in a single-car crash in the area of the Old Newport Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway. The driver sought to flee but was arrested. The passenger, unidentified as of this writing, suffered fatal injuries. He was identified by the Orange County Coroner as Ramiro Benitez, 42.

The driver was taken to a hospital for treatment of serious injuries. His name and pending charges are not being released due to his medical condition.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the HBPD Detective Bureau at (714) 536-5951.

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