18-year-old driver arrested after high-speed pursuit in North County

By Gina Yarbrough

North County, CA–An 18-year-old man driving a stolen vehicle led Sheriff’s Department deputies on a high-speed pursuit in North County on Saturday, authorities said.

The Riverside Sheriff’s Department notified the San Diego Sheriff’s Department of a “Be On the Lookout” for a stolen white 2023 Kia Forte they were pursuing southbound Interstate 15. Riverside deputies lost a visual of the vehicle.

A short time later, deputies from the Fallbrook station were monitoring traffic and observed the Kia traveling south on I-15 at Mission Road, with no lights illuminated. Deputies initiated a traffic enforcement stop and the driver failed to yield, resulting in a traffic pursuit. The stolen Kia continued southbound on I-15 at speeds in excess of 110 miles per hour, Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Claudia Delgado stated in a news release. 

The pursuit led deputies through Escondido before entering westbound Highway 78. The Kia continued to flee at high speeds and exited on Sycamore Avenue in Vista. As the Kia traveled through the city, the driver failed to negotiate the traffic circle at the intersection of South Santa Fe Avenue and Pala Vista Drive before striking the concrete traffic circle structure, causing the vehicle to overturn.

Deputies arrived on the scene and detained four people exiting the stolen Kia. They were determined to be an adult driver, one adult passenger, and two juvenile passengers. Due to the seriousness of the collision, all four occupants were transported to local hospitals for medical evaluations.

During the collision, the pursuing deputy’s view was obscured by the suspect’s vehicle kicking up dust and debris and the deputy was unable to avoid a collision with the traffic circle. The deputy was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. 

The driver, Brenden Hawkins is facing numerous charges including possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evading, and two counts of felony child endangerment for the juvenile passengers. 

The investigation into the stolen vehicle and traffic collisions is ongoing.



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