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Fleeing Driver Killed in O.C.

August 25, 2003

A police pursuit Sunday in Yorba Linda ended in the death of a driver who led officers on a chase reaching 100 mph.

According to a report by police, the male driver, whom they could not identify, died at the scene after hitting a vehicle and crashing into a pole.

About 4:30 p.m., police said, an officer saw the 1989 Chevrolet Camaro traveling 20 mph in a 50 mph zone on Esperanza Road. When the Brea police officer tried to stop the car for impeding traffic, the driver accelerated to 65 mph and fled, police said.

After running numerous red lights, the driver turned east on La Palma Avenue and steadily increased his speed, police said. Starting at the corner of La Palma and Yorba Linda Boulevard, his speed reached 100 mph while he drove east in the westbound lanes of La Palma.

At Via Lomas de Yorba West, police said, the driver swerved back into the eastbound lanes, hit a car driven by Monica Teresa Benavides and crashed into the pole.

Benavides, 29, of Yorba Linda, was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated for neck and back pain, police said.

Investigators said they did not know why the driver fled, and the incident remained under investigation.

Yorba Linda is patrolled by Brea police.

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