UPDATE: The driver has been identified as Colin Dario of La Quinta.
A 33-year-old man who was attempting to flee CHP officers in Palm Desert Friday afternoon was killed after crashing into another car.
A surveillance camera at the Shell gas station on the corner of Washington Street and Avenue of the States captured the crash as it happened.
According to Officer Mike Radford with CHP, patrol cars were trying to pull the suspect over after he failed to yield at Washington Street and Harris Street, just south of Country Club Drive.
Someone had called into CHP to report the suspect driver may have been under the influence.
When officers arrived to Avenue of the States, the car they were chasing had crashed into a car stopped at the intersection; that car burst into flames and then careened into two other cars, Radford said.
The officer who was pursuing the suspect pulled him from the car, but he died on scene. The man hasn’t been identified yet.
Witnesses say the driver didn’t hit the brakes before impact.
“I looked over and saw the Ford Focus hit the BMW and the guy just didn’t stop. The cars started to catch on fire right away, and I guess the Focus the guy was already unconscious. The cop came over and tried to open the door, but the guy didn’t respond at all,” says Ernesto Quiorz who works at the Shell Gas Station at the intersection where the accident happened.
The driver of the Focus was not wearing his seat belt.
Six other people were involved in the crash but only three suffered minor injuries.
All southbound lanes of Washington Street were closed between Avenue 42 and Avenue of the States as CHP as officers investigated the crash. The street was closed for more than 8 hours.