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Driver nabbed in Mexico after high-speed chase

November 16, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

An Anaheim man led the California Highway Patrol on a high-speed chase through the Imperial Valley on Thursday and thought he had avoided arrest by fleeing into Mexicali.

He didn't.

Mexican authorities took into custody driver Carlos Munguia Garcia, 42, and a passenger in his van, although Highway Patrol officials were unsure why Mexican authorities apprehended the two or which U.S. agency notified them of the chase. The name of the passenger was unknown to local authorities.

The incident began around 4 p.m. when a white van traveling east on Interstate 8 east of the Highline Canal at speeds in excess of 100 mph was stopped by a Highway Patrol officer.

After making contact with Garcia, the officer returned to his patrol car and started to write a citation.

According to a press release, the officer suspected both the driver and the passenger were undocumented immigrants.

When the officer asked for a driver's license, Garcia had no identification. He told the officer his name, and when the officer looked up the name it was listed with an Anaheim address.

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As the officer requested the U.S. Border Patrol, the driver raced away.

A pursuit followed with the van driving through the dirt median and heading west on the interstate at speeds topping 105 mph.

According to the Highway Patrol a spike strip was deployed near Bowker Road, but the van driver managed to avoid it.

The driver then headed south on Highway 111 toward the Mexican border, using all the travel lanes and running several red lights as he headed into Calexico.

The driver and his passenger managed to flee by vehicle into Mexicali where they were apprehended.

Highway Patrol officials said Mexican authorities have yet to turn over the pair to U.S. authorities.

No information on whether the Highway Patrol would seek extradition was available.

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

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