Suspect in police chase dies after crashing car into tree in Altamonte Springs

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ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. —

Police said a driver was killed after crashing a stolen car into a tree while fleeing from police Thursday.

Officers said around 5:30 p.m., Sanford Police got a call from a Kangaroo gas station on French Avenue.

They said the suspect tried to steal the car of a person pumping gas.

The person at the pump did not comply with the suspect’s commands, so he ran off to a Domino’s across the street.

“The citizen was not cooperative, and the suspect wound up taking off on foot, running to a nearby Domino’s,” said Shannon Cordingly with the Sanford Police Department.

Officers said a pizza delivery driver had left his truck running, and the suspect jumped in and took off.

Police said they chased the suspect down Interstate 4 into Altamonte, where he traveled southbound on Douglas Avenue.

The suspect reportedly tried to pass southbound traffic and traveled into the northbound lanes.

When he eventually got back in the southbound lanes, he struck another car, lost control, and plowed into a tree head-on, according to reports.

The left side of the truck hit another tree.

The driver in the other car, Carolyn White, is OK, but said she’s very shaken from the ordeal.

“I had no idea he was being chased. I just thought he was going fast, you know, down the road,” White said. “Next think I know I just had this air thing in my face. I was hit hard, hurting, crying and upset.”

The suspect was brought to the hospital in critical condition and later died.

“When he hit the tree, him going that fast, I knew then somebody had to be chasing him because there were police all over the place. I mean guns were drawn and everything,” White said.

Florida Highway Patrol is taking over the crash investigation and the suspect’s name won’t be released until his next of kin is notified.