Truck wreckage
The truck that crashed during the pursuit. Courtesy OnScene.TV

 A man found sleeping in a pickup truck outside a Vista residential complex with what appeared to be narcotics in the vehicle fled when contacted by deputies, leading a brief road chase which ended in a solo crash that left him dead.

The events that led to the fatal wreck began shortly before 4:30 a.m. Friday when a security company reported a burglar alarm sounding and a suspicious person in a pool area at the complex in the 1900 block of Willow Ridge Drive in Vista, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Patrol deputies arrived to find a man apparently asleep in a truck with pool chemicals in the bed and a substance resembling an illegal drug visible on a console in the cab, Lt. Jeff Ford said.

When the deputies woke the man, he drove off, Ford said. The personnel gave chase as the suspect fled north, but they soon lost sight of the truck.

A short time later, deputies spotted the suspect’s vehicle, which had crashed into a light pole at Cannon Road and Lake Boulevard in Oceanside, less than a mile from where the pursuit had begun, Ford said.

The deputies tried to free the driver from the crumpled truck, but had to back off due to wafting noxious fumes from the pool chemicals, which had spilled in the crash.

Firefighters eventually were able to extricate the suspect, and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. His name was withheld pending family notification.

One of the deputies involved in the road chase reported some type of ill effects from the chemical exposure at the site of the wreck and was taken to Tri-City Medical Center, where he was treated and released, the lieutenant said.

Residents in the area were advised to remain indoors while hazardous-materials personnel cleaned up the toxic chemicals.

Updated at 3:25 p.m., Friday, June 17, 2022

City News Service contributed to this article.

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Chris Jennewein

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