Authorities are investigating a high-speed crash on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach that ripped a 2016 Mercedes-AMG in half, killing the driver and injuring a passenger Tuesday morning.
The incident began just after 1 a.m. when a male and a female got into the Mercedes following some type of altercation at a local bar, California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olivera said.
The altercation is still under investigation but officials said the argument may have been between the man and a bouncer about driving.
The Mercedes was speeding as it left the area and was briefly pursued southbound on Balboa Boulevard by Newport Beach police, according to authorities.
The officers lost the vehicle as it reached speeds of about 100 mph, but they knew there was nowhere for the driver to go when it got to the end of the peninsula, Olivera said.
Eventually, the driver turned around and headed northbound on Balboa Boulevard, where police resumed the pursuit, Olivera said.
A short time later, the driver lost control of the Mercedes and crashed into a tree.
“He was unable to take the turn. Hit the palm tree … impact was very, very hard,” Olivera said.
The car’s engine landed about 100 feet north of the crash site. One of the tires was even further away, he said.
The driver, identified only as a man in his late 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The female passenger was taken to a local hospital with injuries, Olivera said. She broke an ankle and is expected to be OK.