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Driver in High-Speed Chase Critically Injured, Police Say

April 03, 2001|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

A 22-year-old Oxnard man was in critical condition Monday night after crashing his car on the Ventura Freeway while allegedly leading authorities on a high-speed chase during the evening rush hour.

During the chase, Jose Guadalupe Vasquez sideswiped a big rig in Camarillo, causing it to swerve down an embankment, which forced the closure of a freeway lane, authorities said. Northbound traffic was backed up for several miles.

Vasquez was being treated for internal injuries at Ventura County Medical Center, said Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Wade.

About 6:10 p.m., off-duty Sheriff's Capt. Bob LeMay spotted Vasquez driving erratically in the 3000 block of Somis Road, Wade said. Vasquez hit a curb, a guardrail and bumped another car, Wade said.

LeMay, who was driving an unmarked police car equipped with lights and siren, attempted to pull Vasquez over before chasing him through downtown Camarillo and onto the freeway at Carmen Drive, Wade said.

Deputies took over the pursuit, which lasted only about a mile but reached speeds of 80 mph. After hitting the truck, Vasquez lost control of his car and stopped on a freeway shoulder, Wade said.

When he failed to exit as officers demanded, he was forcibly removed by deputies. He was taken from the scene by ambulance and will be booked into jail on suspicion of hit-and-run and evading arrest when he recovers, Wade said.

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