Police: Central California Officer Dies in Car Crash

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BAKERSFIELD (AP)–

Authorities say a police officer in Central California crashed his patrol car into a block wall and died.

Department spokesman Sgt. Joe Grubbs said the officer had radioed dispatchers early Friday to tell them that he was in pursuit of a silver Hyundai.

It was not immediately clear why the officer was pursuing the car.

Grubbs said dispatchers lost radio contact with the officer, identified as 26-year-old David Nelson. His fellow officers found him in the crashed patrol car.

Grubbs says officers removed Nelson before flames consumed the car’s passenger compartment. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Nelson was unmarried and had worked on the force for two years.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

No one else was injured. Police continue looking for the driver of the car.