Motorist leads police on violent high-speed chase, drives wrong way on 405 Freeway before crashing

A motorist led police on a high-speed chase through Santa Monica and Brentwood early Friday before driving the wrong way on the 405 Freeway and crashing into multiple vehicles, authorities said.

The incident began around 4:45 a.m. when police responded to reports of a woman acting erratically near 4th and Rose avenues in Venice, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release. The unidentified woman rammed her white van into a police cruiser and drove away, sparking a chase along the northbound 405 Freeway, police said.

Police chased after the driver, who crashed into several police vehicles, according to helicopter footage from KTLA-TV. The LAPD has yet to identify the driver.

At one point, the driver turned the van around and drove at a high speed toward a police cruiser that was driving in reverse in the middle of an intersection. The van chased after the patrol car and the officer narrowly avoided a head-on collision with the van after the cruiser spun around. The van then struck the police vehicle in the rear, according to helicopter footage.

The driver of the van then drove onto the 405 Freeway in the wrong direction, striking several vehicles coming the other way before crashing into a semi-trailer cab near the Wilshire Boulevard onramp, police said. One of those motorists suffered minor injuries, police said.

The suspect then got out and climbed on top of the big-rig cab and sat on the hood for a short time, according to video footage.

The suspect was taken into custody, police said. She was then placed into an ambulance with what appeared to be blood over her face, according to video footage from the scene. Five officers also suffered minor injuries, with two treated at a hospital and released, according to the LAPD.

Times staff writer James Queally contributed to this report.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.