CHP: Driver may have been high on drugs when car went airborne over San Joaquin River

FRESNO, Calif. -- The final moments of David Callahan's life are now being documented by stunned California Highway Patrol officers.

Skyview 30 shows the exact path Callahan took trying to get away from Fresno Police officers. He launched his Mercedes up and over the river, shearing off trees before it came plummeting down.

Officers say it tumbled and rolled, crushing the roof before coming to rest upright with its wheels on the ground.

"He unfortunately was traveling at a speed between 100-118 miles per hour," says Mike Salas with CHP. "He left the dirt road embankment off the San Joaquin River from Dickenson Road and traveled a distance of approximately 337 feet."

The pursuit and crash began after a Fresno Police officer tried to pull over Callahan Monday morning near Herndon and Parkway Drive. The officer said he was swerving and almost struck his patrol car.

Investigators say for five miles, the suspect continued driving between 30-40 miles an hour. But at Barstow and Dickenson, everything changed. He hit the gas and the chase was called off.

"They were able to find that there were some issues going on at the house that may have contributed to him leaving erratically from his residence," Salas said.

Investigators still don't know for sure if Callahan knew there was a river below the cliff he flew off of. Officers say he drove alongside it for miles while trying to get away from police.

Once officers managed to get into the mangled car, a search of it didn't give them many clues. No weapon, drugs or alcohol were found inside.

Detectives believe domestic issues and drug abuse were the biggest problems in recent years. Last July, Fresno County Sheriff's deputies were called to his family's home after his wife said he pushed her and was using drugs.

He was arrested for misdemeanor battery, but charges were never filed.

Callahan has a criminal history in Fresno and beyond. He was convicted of domestic violence and resisting arrest in 2004.

Over the past 15 years, he was also charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors in Monterey County.