"It appears that he poisoned himself somehow", Denharder said of the suspect.
Officers had been chasing Jonathan Hanks, 33, of Camarillo, for about 10 kilometres when they saw him drink from a bottle.
The LAPD asked the California Highway Patrol for help. The incident began when a check of a vehicle in Oxnard came back with information that the auto belonged to a rape suspect, believed to be a 35-year-old man from Camarillo, CHP officials said. The suspect was declared dead at the scene.
Officers said they saw Hanks drink something out of a can and slump over the wheel before he lost control of his auto.
After about six miles, the vehicle crossed lanes and struck a center divider on Interstate 101 in Ventura. CHP officials said information came back on the auto belonging to a rape suspect.
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A suspect who led police on a chase that ended on the 101 Freeway in Ventura has died after he apparently poisoned himself, the California Highway Patrol said.
Denharder says the man was seen drinking something during the pursuit before the auto drifted across northbound lanes and crashed.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Hanks was wanted for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old in a LA motel on February 4 after contacting her through Snapchat.
The vehicle continued northbound until patrol officers observed it yield on the right side of the roadway near Seaward Avenue before it crossed all lanes of traffic and stopped in the center divider, Denharder said.
Several freeway lanes were closed during the investigation near Oxnard, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) west of downtown Los Angeles. No officers were injured in the chase.