Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

East County News Service

February 13, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies pursuit of a stolen vehicle ended in tragedy last night, when the car ran a red light and collided with two other vehicles, killing a young woman and injuring three others.

Shortly after 10 p.m., deputies from the Rancho San Diego Sheriff's Station saw a car driving in the 700 block of Grand Avenue in Spring Valley.  The car was being driven with its lights off; a records check of its license plate showed it to be a stolen vehicle.

“Deputies turned on their lights and siren to stop the car, but the driver sped off.  Minutes later, the stolen car collided with two vehicles at the intersection of Jamacha Road and Sweetwater Road after driving through a red light at a high rate of speed,” Lt. Joel Stranger with the Sheriff’s department states.

The driver of the stolen car suspect ran away from the crash but was arrested by deputies after a short foot chase.  A passenger in the stolen car surrendered to deputies.

A 21-year-old woman in the first vehicle struck by the stolen car was critically injured.  “Deputies rendered life-saving aid until relieved by firefighters.  She was taken to the hospital where she died,” says Lt. Stranger.

Two men and a 15-month-old child in the second vehicle struck were taken to local hospitals and are being treated for moderate to serious injuries.  All are expected to survive.

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.


I never said let the thief go

There are plenty of ways to track a stolen vehicle without chasing it with a patrol car....helo, uav, traffic cams, etc. I gotta tell you.....there is not a car made that is worth the life of, or injury to, one of my loved ones....nor any human for that matter.

Was it worth it?

I mean, is a car worth a life or grievous injury? Why are we still chasing cars when the only crime is possible theft of the vehicle?

Of course it wasn't worth it

Of course it wasn't worth it. But police don't have a crystal ball. If they didn't ever pursue,.,.,. If i wanted to live in a country where cops caved to criminals i'd move to Mexico (no offense, but good news, with their new Administration and legalization of cannabis, some cartels are looking at going legit)

Because the broke the dam law

So what now , just suppose to let people steal cars and face no justice. Why put the blame where it should go, on the dumbass driving the stolen car! He's the one who took off, he's the one who cause someone to lose their lives. Wanna end police chases, add tougher penalty for it, you lead police on a chance, automatic 8yrs, cause an accident 12yrs cause a death 25 yrs, cause more then 1 death life/w after 50yrs, Right now you don't get that long of time, needs to changer

Law enforcement may have saved my life very same day

I agree with Shortstack. Tough penalties for people sending the police on pursuits are far better than just letting car thieves and their ilk rule the roads.

As tragic as this incident was, the blame is NOT on the police; it's on the car thieves.

Either the very early morning of Feb 12 (or possibly late night 2/11), the same day (or late night the day before) as this tragedy, two police cars may have saved my life, at great risk to their own, with their flashing lights guiding me safely home.

Somewhere in the midwest, in freezing weather and light rain, as the drops hit my windshield, they would freeze, creating a layer of ice blocking my visibility, getting thicker, thicker and thicker. Earlier in the day, when we topped off my windshield fluid with winter blend, sadly the reservoir was already frozen solid.

I was trying to outrun that arctic storm all over the news. My windshield was covered in ice as the sprinkles froze upon contact, with the ice just getting thicker and thicker, and I had no visibility, except a couple inches at the bottom of my windshield thanks to my heating defrost air.

I was so desperate i would break when a semi passed, and pull within 10 feet of their right wheels, so as the warmed water would hit my windshield, i'd get a tiny bit more visibility for about 30 seconds. But don't try this, it typically makes things worse, but in this extreme instance it helped.

In the mountains, i couldn't exit, because i couldn't see anything. So i had to just keep driving.

I decided to exit, and there was a cop whose flashing lights let me see the first turn, and a second cop, whose lights lit my way for the second turn.

I don't know if this was on purpose or a coincidence, but, regardless, with their help i was able to exit safely, with them in harm's way, but quite possibly saving my life in the process.

Sometimes law enforcement costs lives, but they put themselves in danger to protect us, and we should not so easily point fingers at them when something goes wrong. Yes, they may put others in danger in pursuits, but they themselves are also in danger, sometimes just by wearing the uniform.