Suspected car thief plows into ambulance in Aguanga

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Diane Sieker photo

AGUANGA (CNS) – A motorist at the wheel of a stolen car ran into an ambulance parked on a highway in Aguanga, then fled the scene, crashing a short time later while California Highway Patrol officers pursued.

Officer Mike Lassig said that shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday, the suspect, identified only as an adult male, was westbound on state Route 79 in a 1995 Honda Accord and had just passed Sage Road when he approached an American Medical Response vehicle parked on the shoulder.

While medics were busy tending to a call at the location, the Honda struck the ambulance, causing unspecified damage, according to Lassig.

The crew was not injured.

“The driver of the Honda … immediately made a U-turn and fled the scene in an easterly direction on Highway 79,” Lassig said. “CHP officers were made aware of the collision and attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the Honda. The driver failed to yield to the officers.”

The CHP spokesman said the suspect lost control at high speed and plowed into a dirt embankment, causing the sedan to overturn.

“The Honda’s driver and passenger were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected,” Lassig said.

The driver and passenger were airlifted to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar for treatment of major injuries, according to Lassig.

The Honda was confirmed stolen hours earlier, he said.