Truck Thief Touches Off 4-Freeway Wrong Way Chase, His Shooting Death & 14-Hour Traffic Back-Up

The shutdown of the eastbound lanes of the I-10 Freeway in the Fontana area that lasted from roughly 1:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday June 23 was the result of the action of a yet-unidentified man who apparently commandeered a truck around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday and led the Highway Patrol on a wild wrong way chase on the I-15, 210, I-215 and then the I-10 freeways.
Authorities offered only minimal detail about the incident, which ended in the fatal shooting of the driver of the vehicle. Details of the shooting remained scarce more than two days after the incident. The Sentinel is able to piece some, but not all of what occurred.
A truck registered to CMC Steel Fabricators of Irving, Texas that functions out of CMC’s Rancho Cucamonga facility was stolen sometime around 10:30 p.m. in the city of San Bernardino while it was in the 5400 block of Industrial Parkway in San Bernardino. There were unverified and unconfirmed reports that the individual who stole the truck was armed, and had kidnapped the driver. Some time after 11:45 p.m., Colton police caught sight of the truck. Ultimately, the Highway Patrol was alerted, and both ground units and a helicopter eventually located the truck and began a pursuit.
A report to the Sentinel, which the CHP did not verify, was that the driver of the truck, in seeking to elude his pursuers, used an offramp in Rancho Cucamonga to enter the southbound I-15 Freeway heading north, transitioned onto the westbound 210 Freeway, which at that hour was fortunately not too-heavily traveled, going east, then transitioned to the northbound I-215 Freeway while headed south, and then headed west on the eastbound I-10 Freeway.
The CHP set up a roadblock on the I-10 freeway between Cedar Avenue to the east and Sierra Avenue to the west. As the truck approached the roadblock between after 1 a.m. and 1:15 a.m. on June 23, a CHP officer opened fire on the cab. Four bullet holes were visible in the windshield of the truck.
The driver, a male who has yet to be identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.
There was a passenger in the truck, who was treated for a glass injury to his arm. He was escorted from the scene by law enforcement officers. At least two reports were that he was in custody, but there was no report of an arrest relating to the incident. A conflicting report was that he was an unwilling participant in the mad ride, and was possibly a driver for CMC, who had been abducted. Despite the Sentinel’s requests to CHP Spokesman Ramon Duran, no clarification on the passenger’s involvement in the incident has been forthcoming.
In the early morning daylight hours of Wednesday, some seven hours after the shooting, a member of a Sentinel delivery crew reported seeing what he believed was the body of the driver underneath wrappings beside the truck.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department traffic and homicide investigators were summoned to make a thorough examination of the scene, which entailed traffic in both lanes being shut down at about 1:30 a.m. Motorists at a critical point on the freeway were unable to leave it form more than three hours early Wednesday morning, when they were allowed to travel single file using the freeway shoulder to exit at Cedar Avenue. At 5:30 a.m. the westbound lanes of the I-10 were reopened. Eastbound lanes remained closed until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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