PINE VALLEY (CNS) - A motorist was killed and a U.S. Border Patrol agent injured early Thursday when a car exploded in flames at the end of a freeway pursuit in the East County highlands.
The road chase began shortly after midnight, following a report that a driver was heading west on the eastbound side of Interstate 8 near Buckman Springs Road, according to the Border Patrol.
A Border Patrol officer caught up with the wrong-way vehicle a short time later and followed it on a frontage road, said Michael Jimenez, a spokesman for the federal agency.
The errant motorist soon exited onto Old Highway 80 in the Pine Valley area. There, the car ran over a tire-flattening spike strip that authorities had stretched across the roadway, and the driver pulled to a stop, Jimenez said.
As the agent approached the sedan on foot, it suddenly burst into flames, he said.
"And ... the car became engulfed in flames, but I don't know how quickly that occurred," the spokesman told news crews. "It had to have been quick enough for the agent not to be able to move away to avoid being burned."
The unidentified motorist died in the blaze. Medics airlifted the injured agent to UCSD Medical Center in San Diego for treatment of burns that were not considered life-threatening.
A sheriff's bomb-arson team was called in to look into what caused the explosive car fire.
Investigators also were trying to determine if the motorist had been driving the wrong way on the freeway in an attempt to elude detection by law enforcement.
"Sometimes it's a tactics that's used ... by people smuggling in this area, in order to avoid being inspected at the I-8 westbound (Border Patrol) checkpoint," Jimenez told reporters.
A union that represents more than 10,000 county of San Diego employees has called a meeting for Wednesday night in preparation for a possible strike.
A San Diego Navy sailor and his live in girlfriend have been accused of child abuse and torture of a five-year-old boy.
Human beings have been stacking stones for thousands of years, sometimes to mark a trial head for hikers - others for fun or even spiritual reasons.
On Wednesday, Cal Jet by Elite Airways announced it would launch its daily non-stop flight service from Carlsbad’s airport to Las Vegas starting in September.
Mayors from border cities in San Diego County and Mexico urged federal leaders Wednesday to support the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement and continue an effort to improve the region's economic prosperity.
The solar eclipse is less than a week away and experts want to make parents are talking to their kids about how to stay safe - while having fun. It's a quick conversation that doctors said can make a big difference.
A Poway couple arrested Sunday is being accused of raising a baby in the same home where they were raising a big crop of pot.
Surveillance video shows a car thief stealing a truck from a San Diego family’s driveway, but the suspect left behind an important clue.
Police are digging through computers and smart phones of two roommates arrested in the attempted kidnapping of a 15-year-old girl in Encinitas.
City crews Wednesday removed a plaque referencing Jefferson Davis, former president of the Confederacy, from Horton Plaza Park in downtown San Diego.