CHP Orange County Pursuit
The CHP reaches a DUI suspect, pulling him from his vehicle, which had caught fire near Camp Pendleton. Photo credit: OnScene.TV

Patrolmen rescued a driver suspected of DUI early Saturday after a pursuit ended in a crash that sparked a fire near Oceanside.

The incident began at 2:35 a.m. in Orange County, where the California Highway Patrol attempted to pull over a sedan going south on Interstate 5 at Lake Forest Drive, according to OnSceneTV.

Instead of stopping, the male driver fled at speeds of up to 125 MPH, until the CHP set out a spike strip at Cockleburr Road at Camp Pendleton.

The car continued for a few miles, until it went off the west side of the freeway and down an embankment, landing just feet from the Santa Margarita River.

As CHP personnel tried to pull the injured driver from the vehicle, the engine began to catch fire. They used fire extinguishers to try and control the blaze, but thick brush hampered them.

At that point, patrolmen jumped on top of the vehicle to pull the trapped driver out of the passenger side of the wreck.

“He undoubtably would have perished,” CHP Sgt. Eric Nicholas told OnScene.TV, without the rescue effort.

Camp Pendleton Fire arrived shortly afterwards and firefighters were able to extinguish the fully engulfed car.

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