A Mesa man fleeing from police drove a stolen pick-up truck into another vehicle, then struck a traffic light and died Wednesday night in Tempe, police said.
Police say the wreck occurred after the officer stopped the pursuit. Witnesses told authorities the driver, Jose Castaneda, 23, continued traveling at a high-rate of speed, police spokesman Sgt. Dan Masters said.
About 9 p.m., a patrol officer running radar in the 1200 block of South McClintock Drive spotted the speeding Chevy pick-up truck, Masters said.
The officer drove behind the truck and initially turned on the lights and sirens but when the driver failed to stop he broke off the pursuit, Masters said.
The truck went through a red light at Price Road and University Drive, Masters said.
As Castaneda traveled through the intersection the truck collided with a vehicle driven by William Dover, 19. Dover was making a left turn from Price Road to University Drive on a green light.
After colliding with the driver's side of the vehicle the truck struck the traffic signal, shearing it off at the base. The signal entered the driver's compartment and killed Castaneda.
His passenger, Lisa Ochoa, 14, suffered injuries that weren't life threatening, Masters said. Dover was not injured.
The truck was stolen Wednesday afternoon from the Tamarak Apartments, 1850 E. Hayden Lane.