A 19-year-old driver was arrested Sunday, accused of leading California Highway Patrol officers on a pursuit that ended in a crash with two other vehicles in Encinitas that left at least five people hospitalized, authorities said.

The pursuit started shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Interstate 5 in Encinitas and ended in a collision at the intersection of Encinitas Boulevard and Via Cantebria, authorities said.

Officers had spotted a Nissan Sentra being driven erratically and at high speeds on northbound I-5 near Manchester Avenue. When officers tried to pull over the driver, he didn’t yield. Officers gave chase.

The driver exited at Encinitas Boulevard and went east for about a mile. At the intersection with Via Centebria, the driver ran a red light, turned left and crashed into two vehicles heading west on Encinitas Boulevard — a gray Volkswagen Jetta and a gray Chevrolet Traverse.

The Nissan driver had the most severe injuries of the five people transported to the hospital, said Encinitas Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Cincotta. Two passengers in the Nissan also suffered major injuries.

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It was unclear how many were hurt in the crash.

The CHP said nine people were injured in the collision including a 25-year-old Carlsbad woman driving the Volkswagen and a 32-year-old Encinitas woman driving the Chevrolet, as well as her 1- and 3-year-old sons, who were passengers in the SUV.

Cincotta said the two children in the Chevrolet were transported with minor injuries; he said the two drivers were uninjured.

The CHP said alcohol and/or drugs were being investigated as a possible factor in the collision.

Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com

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