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Man struck by car in Tustin after fleeing from paramedics

December 23, 2011 |  7:31 pm

A 21-year-old Mission Viejo man was killed Friday morning when he escaped from an ambulance on the northbound 5 Freeway, broke free from an off-duty sheriff's deputy and was struck by oncoming traffic, authorities said.

Orange County sheriff's deputies responded Thursday night to a call of a suicidal man in the 23000 block of Eagle Ridge Drive in Mission Viejo. The man was not home when deputies arrived but showed up several minutes later, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. The man volunteered to undergo a mental evaluation at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, where he was kept overnight, Amormino said.

He said the hospital had planned to transfer the man to a Los Angeles County mental facility Friday morning. The paramedics were northbound on the 5 near the 55 Freeway when they pulled over to adjust the man's restraints, Amormino said.

"When they were doing that, he broke free and took off," the department spokesman said.

An off-duty sheriff's deputy was in the area and saw the man in his gown running. The deputy ran after the man and when he reached him, tried to restrain him. But the man broke free from the deputy's grasp, ran across the center divider and was struck by a car.

Armomino said the accident is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol and the Tustin Police Department. The man's name was not released.


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