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May 6, 2021

Man who fled from scene of Utah County hit-and-run dies after crashing into tree with police in pursuit

PALMYRA, Utah County — A man suspected in a hit-and-run crash died after crashing into a tree while police were pursuing him in Utah County on Saturday night, police said.

A hit-and-run crash in Goshen City was called into police around 6 p.m., according to Utah Department of Public Safety Agent Colton Freckleton. The male suspect, who was driving a 1996 Chevy Silverado, fled the scene.

The victims began following him in their car and helped the Santaquin Police Department locate the truck. The suspect drove past the Santaquin police boundaries and police requested help from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Freckleton said.

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office has a no-pursuit policy but the Silverado was driving erratically and was deemed a safety risk, so officers continued the pursuit on 3200 West near 4765 South, Freckleton said. The truck was traveling from 60 to 80 mph.

For an unknown reason, the Silverado veered to the left off the road near the border of Palmyra and Lake Shore, attempted to overcorrect to the right and drove off the right side of the road, slamming into a tree, Freckleton said. The driver was trapped in the truck with major injuries and the fire department was called out to extricate him. The man was pronounced dead before they could remove him.

Freckleton said it is unknown if the suspect was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, but officers are investigating the scene.

The suspect is a 37-year-old male from Springville, but he is not being identified at this time, Freckleton said.

State Route 77 was closed in both directions at 4800 South. For traffic updates, visit udottraffic.utah.gov.

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