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Man fleeing six-car Laguna Beach collision shot by police, officials say

January 12, 2010 | 11:31 am

A driver involved in a six-car, high-speed traffic collision this morning in Laguna Beach is in critical condition after being shot by police as he tried to flee the scene, authorities said.

Police and firefighters were responding to a high-speed collision at South Coast Highway and Saint Anns Drive about 7:55 a.m. when a man in his mid-20s tried to drive off in a heavily damaged black Mitsubishi four-door, said Laguna Beach Police Lt. Jason Kravetz.

Officers opened fire on the driver in the 200 block of Saint Anns, northeast of the intersection, firing multiple shots. After the incident, he was taken to Mission Hospital. Two others in the collision were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Kravetz said he did not know what prompted officers to shoot, and he did not release the man's identity.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department received calls before the accident about the man driving on the wrong side of the road and blowing through stoplights as he traveled north from Dana Point on South Coast Highway, Kravetz said.

The Orange County district attorney's office is investigating, a standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

--Tony Barboza

Photo: Emergency personnel work on a suspect who was shot by Laguna Beach police as he allegedly tried to flee the scene of a six-car collision near Pacific Coast Highway and St. Anns Drive. Credit: Don Leach / Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot

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