A bizarre chain of events ended with an attempted carjacking suspect being killed in a hit-and-run crash in unincorporated Riverside County on Friday night, authorities said.
The incident happened about 8:40 p.m. on Cajalco Road near Cowan Road, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Licon. The location is just west of the community of Mead Valley.
The investigation revealed that a Hispanic man was standing in the westbound lane of Cajalco Road for unknown reasons, Licon said. At that time, a woman driving a white sedan tried to avoid him, but he ended up getting struck by the car’s left mirror, the sergeant added.
The driver pulled over to the shoulder, and the front-seat passenger got out to check on the man, who was still standing and walking.
Shortly after, the suspect jumped into the stopped car and attempted to carjack the woman, who turned off the ignition, according to CHP.
The female driver and the man fought for control of the steering wheel. The car then went across the eastbound lane, over a curb and struck a chain-link fence, before the suspect got out of the vehicle, officials said.
Moments later, the alleged attempted carjacker went back to the westbound lane, where the driver of a second vehicle pulled over to the shoulder apparently to check on the condition of the man, Licon said.
That’s when the man allegedly tried to get into that vehicle.
“He was trying to open up the right-front door,” Licon said. “The driver of that vehicle accelerated away, and the Hispanic male — for unknown reasons — lost his balance [and] fell into the westbound lane of Cajalco Road.”
A third vehicle traveling on the road struck the suspect and fled the scene, officials stated. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity was not released.
Authorities said they did not have a description of the driver or vehicle involved in the fatal hit-and-run crash.
A man who claimed to be the brother-in-law of the individual killed in the crash told KTLA on Saturday morning that he was unsure why his relative would have been in the area since they live away from there. He did not want to go on camera.
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash was asked to contact the CHP’s Riverside office at 951-637-8000.
Correction: A previous version of this article listed an incorrect location for the crash. The story has been updated.