Several people were injured, one critically, in a car crash after a police chase Friday night, the Orange County Sheriffs Department said Saturday.
The chase began around 10:30 p.m. in the area of Toledo Way and Serrano Road in Lake Forest, OCSD Lt. Jeff Hallock said in a statement.
Deputies suspected that the driver of a 2002 Ford Explorer was operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The deputies followed it for about 5 minutes through Lake Forest, Irvine and Mission Viejo.
The pursuit ended on southbound Trabuco Road near Carlota Drive in Mission Viejo, when the Explorer struck an embankment. The female driver, 18, of the Explorer was ejected and suffered life-threatening injuries and remained hospitalized Saturday night in grave condition.
The 20-year-old male passenger had moderate injuries and remained hospitalized, and a 18-year-old female passenger had minor injuries and was treated and released.
An investigation determined that the Explorer was reported stolen on Jan. 7, Hallock said. In addition, illegal narcotics were found at the crash scene, he said.