A motorist who was killed last night when he slammed into a utility pole while fleeing Toledo police was identified today by authorities.
Ronald Raab, 46, of 6103 317th St. in Toledo's Point Place neighborhood, crashed into a utility pole in a park just off Summit Street north of Manhattan Boulevard. He was pinned in the wreckage and pronounced dead at the scene.
The Lucas County coroner's office will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Toledo police Lt. George Kral said Mr. Raab was driving an Oldsmobile Achieva on Summit near Suder Avenue at 8:42 p.m. yesterday when he was stopped by a police crew for having improper license plates.
The plates on the car were registered to a Ford Escort, the lieutenant said.
When an officer approached the car, Mr. Raab drove away northbound on Summit toward Point Place, police said.
The officer got back into the cruiser with his partner and they gave chase, but the pursuit lasted only about a half-mile or just over a minute, Lieutenant Kral said.
The officers saw Mr. Raab drive across the southbound lanes of Summit and into Detwiler Park, possibly to avoid police by traveling through the park, the lieutenant said.
Police speculate Mr. Raab likely did not see the utility pole when he crashed into it.
"They were probably 400 or 500 yards behind trying to catch up and just saw him crash into the pole," Lieutenant Kral said. "They didn't get a chance to catch up to him."
Lieutenant Kral said the driver "was flying" when he crashed the vehicle, but no speed estimate was available last night. .
The vehicle, which sustained heavy front-end damage, caught fire after the collision, but was quickly extinguished by fire crews responding to the scene.
Toledo Edison crews were called to the scene because the utility pole had been completely severed and the pole was on the ground.
Blade Staff Writers David Patch and Meghan Gilbert contributed to this report.
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