CHP: Hit-and-run driver in San Diego escapes arrest after I-805 chase, crash

SAN DIEGO - The California Highway Patrol said it is searching for a suspected drunken driver in San Diego who led them on a chase early Thursday morning before slamming into a family's SUV and fleeing the scene.

Officers said at about 2:15 a.m. they attempted to pull over the black BMW 328i sedan on eastbound state Route-94 approaching Interstate 805, because he was weaving, and they suspected the male driver was intoxicated.

CHP officials said the driver refused to stop and instead sped off down I-805, exiting on Imperial Avenue. 

When the BMW approached a red light at the end of the off-ramp, officers said the driver sped up, drove through and struck the family's vehicle.

The occupants of the SUV, a mother as well as her 16-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son, were not injured in the crash. The family said they were returning home from a church celebration for the Lady of Guadalupe, and that her statue inside the car protected them from injury. 

According to investigators, the BMW continued driving after the collision, skidding through the intersection before it stopped.

Officers said the driver then fled the scene on foot and was pursued until he ran into a tree line.

The San Diego Police Department joined in the search along with the department's ABLE helicopter, but authorities could not locate the driver.

Authorities called-off the search just after 3 a.m.

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