- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a police officer in Central California died after crashing his patrol car into a wall during a pursuit.

Bakersfield police spokesman Sgt. Joe Grubbs said Officer David Nelson was conducting a traffic stop when the unlicensed driver of a silver Hyundai fled early Saturday.

Nelson radioed that he was chasing the vehicle, but a short time later dispatchers lost contact with the 26-year-old officer.

His fellow officers found him in the crashed patrol car, which caught fire, and removed his body before flames burned into the passenger compartment.

Nelson had worked on the force for two years. His body was returned to his family in Burbank.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and police are searching for the suspect vehicle and its driver.

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