Two die after mini-van chased by troopers in Ohio crashes and burns

November 29, 2013 6:55:57 AM PST
Two people in a mini-van were killed Thursday night in northwest Ohio after a car traveling more than 125 mph and being chased by state troopers struck the mini-van and they burst into flames, the State Highway Patrol said.

The crash happened around 7: 15 p.m. near Fremont, about 40 miles southeast of Toledo. The 24-year-old man who allegedly was driving the speeding vehicle was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Highway Patrol Lt. Brett Gockstetter told AP Radio that the driver of the car was travelling at a high rate of speed and weaving in and out of traffic. He said the car crashed into the back of the mini-van, which had two adults from Toledo in it, and that both vehicles caught fire.

"The driver of the passenger car was able to exit the vehicle on his own accord," he said. The two others could not.

WTOL-TV reported that official said the speeding vehicle was traveling between 125 mph and 150 mph and hit at least three other vehicles over the course of 17 miles.

Josh Pickett of Toledo told The Toledo Blade that he was headed home from Thanksgiving dinner with relatives in Cleveland when the speeding driver passed him, followed about a minute later by a state police cruiser.

"I was going 76, and the guy passes me like I was standing still," Pickett said.

He said within a few minutes traffic suddenly stopped "and I saw really big flames."

Ty Mahaffey of Toledo told The Blade a car zoomed by him "at an enormously high rate of speed. ... I have never seen a passenger car going so fast."

The Toledo resident said he was going around 80 mph "and when he passed me it was like I was going in reverse." He said afterward he had to pull over briefly to collect himself.

The turnpike's westbound lanes were expected to be closed until early Friday.

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