Authorities have identified the driver of a big rig that led deputies on a slow-speed chase that ended in the Santa Clarita Valley with the truck consumed by flames on Thursday.
At about 12:30 p.m., deputies from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office were called to the 15800 block of Edgewood Way in Frazier Park for reports that Kris Souza was making “bizarre statements,” but he fled in a white Volvo semi-truck before authorities arrived, the Sheriff’s Office said in a Friday news release.
The vehicle driven by Souza, who was wanted on a warrant for arson and burglary, was spotted by the California Highway Patrol, which indicated that the truck was reported stolen from Nevada.
When deputies found the truck, Souza refused to pull over, instead choosing to get onto the 5 Freeway and drive at about 10 mph, officials said.
A few minutes after 3 p.m., Souza hit a spike strip in Castaic, resulting in the truck losing a tire.
Though he was able to drive a short distance, the truck caught fire, and Souza exited the vehicle and surrendered at about 3:30 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office and aerial footage from Sky5.
Souza, who was not injured during the pursuit, faces charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, vehicle theft, felony evading an officer and resisting arrest in addition to the arson and burglary allegations.