A suspected car thief being pursued by police died when he rammed a stolen car into a 10-ton asphalt roller at a construction site in Irvine, police said this morning.
The man, who remains unidentified pending notification of relatives, was fleeing police at speeds up to 80 m.p.h. in a short chase that began on the southbound San Diego Freeway about 11 p.m., said Irvine Police Sgt. Phil Povey. The driver had stolen a 1987 Hyundai sedan from Costa Mesa when the chase began, Povey said.
The man, whose age and hometown were unknown this morning, left the freeway at Culver Drive. He turned westbound on Campus Drive. With two police cars in pursuit, the man tried to pass two cars in front of him but ran into an asphalt roller in a lane that had been closed for construction.
Police said the man was killed instantly.