Charges have not been filed in May 4 hit-and-run chase
Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to file charges against a Lakewood man who allegedly caused a non-injury hit-and-run crash on Interstate 5 in Encinitas three weeks ago, then led authorities on a brief chase.
Paul Richard Kennedy, 57, was driving erratically and passing traffic on the right-hand shoulder of the freeway when his northbound 1988 Lincoln Town Car struck the back end of a 2009 Subaru Outback near Manchester Avenue about 6 p.m. on May 4, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Following the collision, which caused minor damage to the Subaru, Kennedy kept speeding to the north, veering between lanes and using the center median to pass other vehicles, the CHP reported.
Various witnesses reported seeing the Town Car weaving along the interstate at high speed, and CHP officers and a U.S. Border Patrol agent eventually caught up with the sedan near the Orange County line and tried to make a traffic stop.
But Kennedy allegedly refused to yield, continuing into the San Juan Capistrano area, where the Lincoln ran over a spike strip authorities tossed into the roadway in his path.
The fleeing driver continued on for a short distance on shredded tires before finally pulling to a stop. Highway Patrol officers then took him into custody and brought him to the CHP’s Oceanside-area headquarters for questioning and drug and alcohol screenings.
The sobriety tests determined that Kennedy was not intoxicated, but due to seemingly incoherent statements he made, officers decided he might be suffering from some type of psychological ailment, according to a crime report. He was taken to Tri-City Medical Center for a mental-health evaluation.
It was unclear if Kennedy was ever arrested in the case. A CHP spokesman did not return a telephone call seeking clarification.
The Highway Patrol has asked prosecutors to file a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge and a felony reckless-evading count against Kennedy — a recommendation that remains under review, said Paul Levikow of the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.
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