A suspected intoxicated driver was killed after crashing into a female Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy’s SUV in Lancaster, officials said Sunday.
The incident began when two California Highway Patrol officers on patrol stopped to check on two cars that were stopped on the Highway 14 West Avenue F off-ramp around 1:40 a.m., the Sheriff's Department said in a news release.
But as the officers approached, one of the vehicles — a 1998 Volvo — took off heading east on Avenue F. The driver of the remaining car told them that the Volvo had just rear-ended them, officials said.
The CHP officers began chasing the Volvo, which "almost immediately, for unknown reasons," veered left and slammed into a Sheriff's Department vehicle carrying a single deputy head-on, deputies said.
The head-on crash occurred near the intersection of 15th Street West and Avenue F, according to a department tweet.
The driver of the Volvo was pronounced dead at the scene, and the passenger suffered moderate injuries in the crash and was taken to a nearby hospital, officials said. Both were men, but no further identifying information was provided about them.
The deputy was pinned in the vehicle and was rescued by the L.A. County Fire Department, Capt. Jason Ghorbani said.
The deputy, who was on duty and responding to an unrelated call, sustained injuries to her left side and was taken to a hospital. She is in stable condition, according to the Sheriff's Department.
Further details about the deputy and suspect have not been released, but officials shared a photo of Sheriff Jim McDonnell visiting the deputy in the hospital.
"We are so very happy to report that our deputy is recovering well and appreciates all of the thoughts and support," McDonnell later tweeted.
Hernandez said officers at the scene smelled alcohol as they were helping the passenger in the suspect vehicle. Officials are awaiting toxicology reports, but said they suspected alcohol and possibly drugs played a role in the crash.
Photos tweeted by the Sheriff’s Department showed both vehicles were left mangled after the crash.
The deputy’s SUV had significant damage to the driver’s side, while the suspect vehicle had major front-end damage, the photos show.
Video from the scene showed a large fire and law enforcement response.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. Anyone with information about the incident can call CHP Officer Gil Hernandez at 661-948-8541.
KTLA's Erika Martin contributed to this report.