OTERO COUNTY, Colo. — During an arrest encounter, a man stole a police unit belonging to the Colorado State Patrol. Authorities chased the suspect who later lost control of the vehicle and died in a crash in southeastern Colorado Tuesday morning.
Officials with the Colorado State Patrol said troopers were called to assist the Otero County Sheriff’s Office as deputies were chasing a suspect vehicle on Highway 50 about 11 a.m. on Tuesday, 9 News reported.
CSP said the driver fleeing from OCSO “was reported to have caused multiple crashes and attempted to cause head-on crashes with himself and other vehicles.” Moreover, there was a report of shots fired in connection with the car.
Troopers conducted an unspecified maneuver and managed to get the vehicle stopped. As they were arresting the driver, he somehow “gained access to the front of a fully marked Colorado State Patrol vehicle and fled,” according to CSP.
Details were not provided as to how the suspect gained access to the driver’s seat of the patrol unit before driving off with it.
Troopers and deputies engaged the suspect in another vehicle pursuit, although this time he was operating a law enforcement vehicle.
CSP deployed stop sticks further down Highway 50. Once the driver hit the stop sticks, he lost control and crashed into the side of a commercial vehicle that was parked on the side of the highway, CSP said. The stolen patrol unit spun out and caught fire, according to the news outlet.
The suspect was rescued from the burning automobile and transported to the hospital. However, the man did not survive.
The deceased suspect’s name was not immediately released.
The driver of the commercial vehicle was uninjured, according to state police.
The lead agency in the case is the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.