The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office is releasing details of Friday’s Highway 139 pursuit, which ended in the death of a Yuba City man just north of Susanville.
According to Sheriff Dean Growdon the Sheriff’s Office received a request for assistance from the California Highway Patrol related to a vehicle pursuit around 7:45 Friday evening.
The California Highway Patrol had initiated the pursuit near Merrillville road in Willow Creek Valley, following the vehicle south on the highway until it ran across a tire flattening device near Spring Ridge Drive.
According to the report, “The driver was observed to be slouched over and did not respond to requests for him to exit the vehicle.”
The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office armored vehicle was requested to respond to the scene and was utilized to approach the suspect’s vehicle. Upon reaching the vehicle, reports Sheriff Growdon, deputies requested that medical personnel respond.
Medical personnel found no signs of life and the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was pronounced deceased by a Deputy Sheriff/Coroner.
According to the release the evidence at the scene was consistent with suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An official determination related to the cause of death won’t be made until after the investigation and an autopsy are completed.
The Sheriff’s Office has identified the driver as 27 year-old Yuba City resident Charles Hartz.
Hartz, says Growdon, had previously been reported missing from the Woodland area and was reportedly suicidal and carrying weapons in his vehicle at the time of the pursuit.