A stolen car crashed into other vehicles, killing one person, following a sheriff's chase Wednesday, authorities said.

Deputies began their pursuit of a reported stolen car shortly after 7 a.m. in South Los Angeles but eventually backed off, Deputy Johnie Jones said.

"We don't normally chase after stolen vehicles," Jones said. "It got too unsafe, I would imagine. That's usually what happens."

However, the car continued, and soon struck another vehicle, killing the other motorist, Jones said.

A passenger in the stolen car was detained at the scene for questioning but the driver, armed with a handgun, ran away, Jones said.

Deputies cordoned off the area and began searching for the gunman.

Televised news reports showed a PT Cruiser wedged hood-first under the rear of a Toyota truck, raising its bed into the air. The entire front end of the truck apparently had been torn away.