The crash victim is loaded into an ambulance in Oceanside. Courtesy OnScene.TV.

A motorist driving a stolen car was airlifted to a hospital Wednesday morning after fleeing from deputies in Vista and crashing the sedan near a highway connector ramp in Oceanside, authorities said.

Around midnight, deputies spotted a 2005 Nissan Altima that had been reported stolen parked on Rollins Street, off West Vista Way just east of North Melrose Drive, San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Moreno said. Deputies approached the vehicle, but the driver took off, he said.

The pursuit continued until the motorist got onto northbound Interstate 5 in Carlsbad and started driving erratically, at which point the chase was called off, Moreno said.

Around 12:20 a.m., a crash involving the Altima was reported near the northbound I-5 connector to eastbound state Route 78, California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt said.

The circumstances leading up to the crash were under investigation, but the car ended up off the right shoulder near a lagoon, Bettencourt said.

The driver was trapped inside and had to be extricated by firefighters, the officer said. He was airlifted to Scripps La Jolla Hospital, but an update on his status was not immediately available.

A passenger in the vehicle fled the scene and has not been located, according to the CHP.

–City News Service

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