Police reported that a woman suspected of running a red light caused a crash near Balboa Park that killed a longtime federal official in San Diego.

Paramedics took George Peel Chandler, 73, to Scripps Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival, the Medical Examiner's Office said today.

Chandler headed the U.S. Small Business Administration's San Diego district office for 25 years. He retired in September 2005.

Before Chandler took over the local SBA office, his resume included some time as an Army lieutenant working on ballistic missiles --including the Ajax and Zeus -- and as a mission engineer with NASA during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, according to a profile by the San Diego Business Journal in 2002.

After receiving a masters from MIT Sloan School of Management, Chandler returned to NASA to become the director of the agency's Scientific and Technical Information Program in Washington, D.C., according to the journal.

The fatal crash at Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street was reported about 10:15 p.m. Friday, Sgt. Rich Nemetz said.

A 42-year-old woman driving a Toyota minivan north on Sixth Avenue ran a red light at Laurel Street and struck Chandler's Lexus, which was heading westbound out of Balboa Park, he said.

The woman was treated for minor injuries, said Sgt. Art Campa. She has not been cited for the crash or booked for a crime, but she still may face charges, he said.