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Four immigrants arrested after high-speed chase

May 14, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, staff Writer

HOLTVILLE — A county Sheriff's Office deputy engaged in a high-speed pursuit this morning that ended with four undocumented immigrants being taken into custody after a tire blew on the car in which they were traveling.

The incident started at 4:38 a.m. when a deputy driving west on Interstate 8 west of the Highline Canal saw a car race by at 100 mph. The car had no tail lights.

The deputy chased the car for about five minutes, with speeds varying from 75 to 95 mph, according to Sheriff's Office Sgt. Myron King.

At some point the car blew a tire and the driver exited the freeway on the Orchard Road off-ramp. Six people then fled from the car into a nearby field.


The U.S. Border Patrol was called to the scene, and King said he thought four people were taken into custody. There was no information whether one of the four captured was the driver.

The Border Patrol had no information this morning on the incident.

The pursuit came a week after another sheriff's deputy was involved in a pursuit in which speeds reached 100 mph.

In that chase, the deputy ended the pursuit when it was deemed an unsafe situation.

King said it is up to the deputy or a supervisor to decide when to end a pursuit because of the danger involved to other motorists or people in the area.

In the pursuit this morning, King said, there was lighter traffic on the interstate and the pursuit was brief. The pursuit last week went from El Centro to Highway 111 outside Imperial before the deputy ended the chase.

King has said pursuits are common in the Imperial Valley, particularly relating to illegal immigration.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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