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Published: Wednesday, 6/8/2005

Driver fleeing police crashes, dies

The driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene after striking the pole, police said. The driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene after striking the pole, police said.

A man was killed last night when his car being pursued by Maumee police on Conant Street clipped another vehicle near Holland Road, went out of control, and flipped, then slammed into a utility pole, authorities said.

Atop the pole was a transformer that was damaged, sparking what was described as an extensive power outage in the area.

The Meijer store reported that it was operating on emergency power. At the Maumee 18 Cinema De Lux, the shows went on uninterrupted, theater officials reported.

Police blocked off Conant between Illinois Avenue and Dussel Drive for several hours.

The man, who was driving the car bearing a Michigan license plate, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His name was being withheld early today.

The Lucas County Coroner's Office ordered an autopsy.

A Maumee police dispatcher received a call just before 10:30 p.m. reporting a possibly intoxicated driver at the Wendy's restaurant on Conant near Illinois, police Sgt. Gayle Lohrbach said.

Officer Greg Westrick went to the restaurant and saw a car leaving and heading north on Conant. The officer stopped the vehicle just north of the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks nearby. But as he approached, the car sped off.

Officer Westrick gave chase, reaching speeds of about 80 mph in a 40-mph zone.

As the car neared the area of the Meijer store where Conant curves, it began to go out of control. The car struck another vehicle - no one in that vehicle was hurt - then went completely out of control, flipped, and slammed into the utility pole, authorities said.

"The officer did what he was supposed to do: try and get him stopped and protect the public. Unfortunately, a speeding motorist can end tragically like this," Sergeant Lohrbach said.

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