ESCONDIDO (CNS) — Two men sleeping in bushes died when a 13-year-old girl who allegedly took her mother's car attempted to flee from Escondido police, authorities said Saturday.
The crash was reported about 11:20 p.m. Friday at Mission Avenue and Ash Street. According to Escondido police Lt. Kevin Toth, a police officer had stopped the car near Mission Avenue and Gamble Street for a traffic violation.
"What the officer didn't know at the time is that the girl's juvenile friend was a passenger in the car."
The girls fled in the car as the officer approached and drove east on Mission and apparently tried to turn left onto Ash.
"They apparently lost control and their car slid into the planter on the east side of the road near a SDG&E transfer facility," Toth said.
Once officers detained the girls, they discovered the car had struck two men who appeared to have been homeless and were sleeping in the bushes, he said. One was pronounced dead at the scene and the other died at a hospital. Efforts were underway to identify the men.
After the fatal crash, an officer's vehicle was struck by a DUI driver while it blocked the roadway.
"The police car had all of the emergency lights activated and was unoccupied," Toth said. "No one was injured and the driver was arrested for DUI."