3 dead in California after SUV fleeing Border Patrol crashes

SAN DIEGO (AP) – An SUV fleeing from US Border Patrol agents smashed through a guardrail and hurtled into a ravine off a San Diego freeway, killing three of the vehicle’s occupants and seriously injuring a fourth, authorities said Friday.

The chase started after two agents on routine patrol ran the license plate of the GMC Envoy and were alerted that the vehicle was associated with a possibly armed man suspected of murder and human smuggling, the agency said in a statement.

When agents signalled to the SUV to pull over Thursday afternoon on busy Interstate 15, the driver took off.

The speeding driver swerved to exit the freeway when the SUV smashed through a guardrail before rolling down an embankment, ejecting the vehicle’s occupants, the California Highway Patrol said. Two people died at the scene, and a third person died at a hospital. A fourth occupant was seriously injured.

The deceased included a 28-year-old man from San Diego and a woman and man believed to be in their 20s, but authorities are still working on identifying them, California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez said. A 22-year-old man from San Juan Bautista, Mexico, remained hospitalised.

Border Patrol officials have not said whether the murder suspect was in the SUV at the time nor would they elaborate on the suspect’s identity or offences.