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9 people injured after chase, traffic collision in Encinitas

ENCINITAS, California (CNS) – A 19-year-old Thermal was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of recklessly evading a police officer after colliding with several vehicles after a quick hunt with California Highway Patrol officers, authorities said.

CHP officers from the Oceanside area were patrolling the North Interstate 5 on Manchester Avenue at 8:22 a.m. when they saw a gray Nissan Sentra driving unevenly at high speed, CHP Officer Hunter Gerber said. Police officers tried to stop the traffic, but Nissan did not give up and the pursuit began, Gerber said.

The car continued to evade CHP officers on North I-5 until it exited Encinitas Boulevard and traveled east just over a mile until it approached an intersection on Via Cantebria.

When Nissan entered the intersection, it was driving a red light and turning in an unauthorized left direction north of Via Cantebria, Gerber said. At the same time, two vehicles entered the intersection, heading west through Encinitas.

The first vehicle was a gray volkswagen jetta driven by a 25-year-old Carlsbad woman. The other vehicle was a gray Chevrolet Traverse driven by a 32-year-old Encinitas, with two sons, a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, in the vehicle with her.

As Nissan turned left into an intersection, it collided with a Volkswagen and then another into a Chevrolet, Gerber said. The driver of the Nissan and its passengers – all residents of Thermal, aged 16 to 20 – were taken to district hospitals due to severe injuries, Gerber said. A Volkswagen driver, a Chevrolet driver and her underage passengers were also taken to district hospitals for non-fatal injuries.

CHP officers arrested a Nissan driver on suspicion of reckless evasion by a police officer. Alcohol or drugs were considered a possible factor in the collision, Gerber said.

The intersection was cleaned by CHP at 1 p.m.

Anyone who witnessed the accident was asked to contact the CHP at 760-643-3400.

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