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California

Fleeing Costa Mesa Driver Dies

August 11, 2003

A Costa Mesa man was killed early Sunday during a police chase when his vehicle crashed into a tree while exiting the freeway.

Police said the chase began at 12:45 a.m., when a Costa Mesa officer tried to stop the vehicle near Valencia Street and Mendoza Drive after observing numerous traffic violations by the driver.

According to a police report, the driver failed to stop and sped off. The pursuit of the driver, identified only as a 36-year-old man, was first on city streets, then the southbound lanes of the San Diego Freeway.

Police said the driver exited the freeway at MacArthur Boulevard and lost control, hitting a tree. The man was trapped in the wreckage and had to be extracted by firefighters and paramedics. He was taken to Western Medical Center-Santa Ana, where he died.

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