LUFKIN, Texas – A bank robbery suspect in Texas was killed after trying to escape police on Thursday when he lost control and crashed during a chase that saw speeds topping 130 mph, officials said.
The Lufkin Police Department said in a news release posted to Facebook that investigators were looking for two men who robbed a bank in Wharton around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday.
The men then sped off with an undisclosed amount of cash. The robbery suspects were identified as LeEdward Hopkins, 43, and Tony Mitchell 42, both of Houston.
Around 7 p.m., the Texas Department of Public Safety learned that Hopkins may have been in the Lufkin area, traveling north on Loop 287 in a black Dodge Challenger. A Lufkin police officer then spotted the vehicle and tried to conduct a stop, but officials said Hopkins refused to yield.
Hopkins then continued on U.S. 59 toward the city of Nacogdoches as multiple agencies joined the pursuit.
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“Hopkins broke away from law enforcement as he neared Nacogdoches city limits, reaching speeds of more than 130 mph,” police said. “He lost control of the vehicle after one of his tires was spiked near Woodland Hills Golf Course.”
Dashcam video released by the department (see below) showed the vehicle veering off the road, striking a power pole and going airborne before crashing into some nearby trees.
“The car’s engine block caught fire, but it had been thrown from the vehicle,” police said.
Hopkins was believed to have died on impact and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police recovered cash from the vehicle, along with a loaded handgun as well as additional magazines.
No one else was injured in the pursuit, police said. The crash and subsequent investigation kept part of the roadway closed for several hours.
FOX News reported that Mitchell was not with Hopkins at the time of the crash and remained at large, according to police.