A California Highway Patrol cruiser.
A California Highway Patrol cruiser. Photo via CHP

A woman driving a stolen sedan led officers Friday on a high-speed freeway chase that ended when she lost control of the car, which rolled over and crashed, leaving her hospitalized with serious injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP Officer Kevin Smale said a motorcycle police officer saw an older-model Toyota Corolla traveling at a high rate of speed and swerving in and out of traffic on northbound Interstate 15 near Mission Road in Fallbrook at 12:08 p.m. When the driver failed to pull over, the officer ran the car’s license plate and discovered it had been reported stolen, Smale said.

Officers continued to follow the driver as she exited the freeway, waving at officers as she switched directions, and began driving erratically along the southbound I-15 at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, according to Smale.

The motorist, who was not wearing a seatbelt, lost control of the car while transitioning onto State Route 78 in Escondido about 12:25 p.m., he said. The Corolla veered off the left-hand side of the transition road and rolled down a hillside.

The driver, believed to be in her mid-40s, was unconscious when police approached the car and called for paramedics, who took her to Palomar Medical Center, where she underwent surgery Friday afternoon, Smale said.

The woman, whose name was not immediately released, had a torn aorta, ruptured spleen, broken clavicle and kidney damage, according to the officer, who said DUI is a suspected factor in the crash.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.