Man Who Drove Off Cliff Near Angeles National Forest Identified

impressive cliff creating a unique landscape

Photo: Bela Art / iStock / Getty Images

AZUSA (CNS) - A 35-year-old man who eluded Azusa police and died after driving a vehicle over a cliff in the Angeles National Forest was identified Tuesday.

The driver was identified as Noe Rios of Duarte, according to the Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner's office.

Officers received a call regarding a welfare check on a person exhibiting mental health concerns around 1:05 p.m. Thursday, according to Azusa Police Department spokesman Lt. Jake Bushey.

Moments later, responding officers located Rios at the wheel of a vehicle northbound on Azusa Avenue in the city's downtown area and attempted to pull him over, resulting in a slow-speed pursuit leading into Azusa Canyon, Bushey said.

Rios drove about a mile from the canyon's entrance before intentionally driving off the road and down a 350-foot embankment.

Los Angeles County Fire Department officials and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to the scene and pronounced Rios dead.

It was unclear what may have triggered Rios' mental health crisis. An investigation is ongoing.

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