An early morning chase that started in the New Caney area of Montgomery County ended in tragedy when the vehicle was involved in a one-vehicle crash on the US 59 service road in Cleveland, killing one of the three occupants.
The chase began after Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle. According to Det. Kevin Cooke with Cleveland Police Department, the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed with its headlights off.
Instead of pulling over for law enforcement, the driver of the vehicle sped up and led authorities on a high-speed chase out of Montgomery County and into Liberty County. The driver, who has not been identified at this time, left the freeway just before the last exit to Washington Ave. on the north end of town.
Due to the high rate of speed, the driver was unable to safely negotiate the 90-degree turn on the feeder road and drove his vehicle off the road, causing it to roll several times before coming to a stop. During the crash, one of the occupants – a young Hispanic man – was ejected from the vehicle. When the vehicle came to a stop, it landed on top of the man, submerging his body in murky water in the ditch.
The driver reportedly tried to flee the scene of the crash, but was apprehended by law enforcement.
A second passenger suffered injuries and was taken by ground ambulance to HCA Houston Hospital in Cleveland. His injuries were not life-threatening.
Liberty County Pct. 6 Justice of the Peace Ralph Fuller conducted an inquest at the scene.
While authorities were clearing the scene, family members believed to be related to the decedent began to arrive as Pace-Stancil Funeral Home staff were removing his body.
J&J Wrecker Service of Cleveland helped Cleveland Fire Department extricate victims and remove the vehicle from the ditch.
Because charges are likely to be filed against the driver who caused the crash, Liberty County First Assistant District Attorney Anna Emmons came to the scene to assist Cleveland Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety with the investigation.
An update will be posted as new information comes in.
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