ST. GEORGE — A suspect was killed during a pursuit in Washington County when he was ejected during a rollover off a cliff early Wednesday morning in a vehicle officers would later learn was reported as stolen.
According to a statement released by Hurricane Police Officer Ken Thompson, shortly before 3:30 a.m., an officer got behind a passenger vehicle on state Route 9 and was initiating a traffic stop when he noticed there was no rear license plate on the car. Instead of pulling over, the driver reportedly sped off, heading north into LaVerkin at more than 90 mph with the officer in tow.
The car continued north into Toquerville at a high rate of speed, Thompson said, taking several side roads into residential neighborhoods before returning to the highway.
As the pursuit continued, the driver approached a curve in the road and lost control of the car, which resulted in the vehicle going off the cliff and rolling, ejecting the driver as it continued down the hill. The vehicle came to rest upside-down near the bottom of the hill just yards from several homes.
Officers approached and found the suspect lying unresponsive several yards from the car. Officers started CPR, efforts that continued until emergency medical personnel arrived but which were ultimately unsuccessful, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers also found an injured passenger still inside of the car. She was transported to St. George Regional Hospital for evaluation and treatment.
A registration check later revealed the car was reported as stolen out of the Salt Lake City area.
According to Thompson’s statement, the Utah Highway Patrol responded to the scene and is conducting an investigation into the crash. The identity of the driver has not yet been released, and no further details were available at the writing of this report.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Hurricane Valley Fire District also responded to assist.
This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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