SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Police officers are searching for the person who drove a car into a canyon in University Heights early Thursday morning.

The canyon accident was a result of a freeway pursuit that police said involved two stolen vehicles. Officers reported that the pursuit started before 4:30 a.m. Thursday when the two stolen cars – a 1993 Honda Accord and 1992 Honda Accord - were following each other in the Mid-City area at Central Avenue and University Avenue.

At one point, the drivers split off in different directions, sparking two hot pursuits.

After splitting off from the chase, the 1993 Honda Accord plummeted into a University Heights canyon at Mission Cliff Drive and Adams Avenue. 

A witness in the area heard the car smash into the guard rail and described the scene:

"As many as 15 to 20 policemen arrive and they were calling the suspect by name and they brought the police dogs out." Raman Basha. "It's a little bit shocking and a little bit unusual. People don't think of this happening in our neighborhood.”

The suspect rolled out of the car as it flew off the cliff and emergency workers then needed to check for any passengers. Firefighters wore harnesses attached to a fire truck as they carefully made their way down about 100 feet into the canyon.

"The fire department is working to render the car safe. It was smoking and they want to make there's no fire and that nobody is in the car injured," explained Lt. Kevin with the San Diego Police Department.

No additional people were found inside the car. A helicopter, with heat seeking devices, scanned the area and didn't locate the suspect.

Police officers are now searching for a Hispanic man, in his 20s and last seen wearing dark clothes.

The second car involved in the pursuit spun out at Interstate 15 and Aero Drive. The suspect was caught near a McDonald's parking lot and was arrested.