Police chase ends in fiery crash killing innocent driver in Whittier

A police pursuit ended in a fiery crash that sent an innocent motorist to the hospital on Monday afternoon in Whittier, police said.

According to Whittier Police, at about 11 a.m. an officer spotted what appeared to be a road rage incident in progress in the area of Greenleaf Avenue and Whittier Boulevard. The officer unsuccessfully attempted to pull over the aggressor, and that led to a short pursuit.

At some point during the chase, the suspect vehicle attempted to crash into three police vehicles, according to authorities.

The pursuit eventually ended when the suspect crashed into an uninvolved vehicle. The crash victim was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said. The victim's identity has not been released. Police say the victim was the only occupant of the car at the time of the crash.

The suspect is in police custody. He has been identified as 34-year-old Kevin Vargas of Santa Fe Springs. Vargas was also taken to the hospital after the crash pursuit.

The crash occurred near the intersection of Wardman Street and Pickering Avenue in Whittier. At least one of the vehicles burst into flames as a result of the crash.

No further details were immediately known.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Whittier Police Department at 562-567-9299.