Two people were injured when the sedan they occupied struck a utility pole in Murrieta overnight, causing the pole to snap off at its base.
According to Sgt. Darryl Underwood with the Murrieta Police Department, officers received a call just after midnight at 12:09 a.m. of a traffic collision at the intersection of Clinton Keith and Whitewood roads in Murrieta.
The caller advised that he believed the occupants of several vehicles in the accident were shooting at each other.
Officers arrived on scene within minutes and observed a silver newer model sedan that had crashed into a utility pole about 300 feet east of the intersection on a dirt portion of Clinton Keith Rd.
As officers arrived, they observed a male running from the scene northbound on Whitewood Rd., Underwood said.
That person, who was believed to be the driver of the sedan, was taken into custody just north of the intersection.
A second male, who was believed to be a passenger in the sedan, was also taken into custody near the accident site. Both were injured in the accident and were treated by paramedics before being transported by ambulance to Inland Valley Hospital, according to Murrieta Fire Department personnel at the scene.
Their injuries were believed to be minor to moderate.
Underwood said the sedan had been traveling eastbound on Clinton Keith at a high rate of speed when it ran a red light at Whitewood Rd. before losing control and crashing into the utility pole. Clinton Keith Road turns to a narrow dirt road just east of Whitewood.
The pole was severed at its base but remained upright, suspended by the power wires it was attached to. Underwood said witnesses estimated the vehicle was traveling between 85 and 100 miles per hour at the time of the crash.
The sedan was the only vehicle involved in the crash, and no gunshots were believed to have been fired, Underwood said.
He suggested that the reported gunshots were the result of the power lines arcing following the collision with the pole.
Both the driver and passenger appeared to be intoxicated, Underwood said.
Electrical service in the area did not seem to be affected, and a local resident who stated he lived east of the incident off of Clinton Keith Road said his power remained on. Edison crews were at the scene assessing the damage as of 3 a.m., and Clinton Keith Road east of the intersection was closed.
Joe Fanaselle is a local photojournalist and regular contributor to SWRNN.