Driver dies after crashing car into tree during police chase - KPTV - FOX 12

Driver dies after crashing car into tree during police chase

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A man is dead after officers say he crashed his car into a tree in Gladstone during a police chase. 

The incident occurred at about 9:45 p.m. Saturday night and started as a call about a possible drunk driver. Police say reports also came in that the man was attempting to pull cars over with his vehicle. 

Officers stopped the vehicle near Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard and Glen Echo Avenue in Gladstone. 

During the traffic stop, police say the driver sped off. Officers followed the driver northbound on River Road and during the short pursuit, the vehicle veered off the road and crashed into a tree. 

Neighbors say the crash actually shook their homes. 

“We heard sirens coming up River and then we heard a catastrophic boom, felt the shockwave percussion through the house,” said neighbor Kristen Umbras. 

After crashing, the vehicle caught on fire. Many neighbors watched, horrified. 

“Came outside, saw the cops trying to do what they could, then the truck burst into flames,” said neighbor Hawree Aljaf. 

He says when he saw the fire he rushed towards the car, hoping to save the man.

“I just couldn’t help. I couldn’t help. And the cops, they tried. They couldn’t open the door,” said Aljaf. 

Police say the driver died at the scene and he was the only one inside his vehicle.

Aljaf started a memorial for the driver — leaving flowers and candles at the crash scene Sunday afternoon.

“I got some flowers and that’s all I can do,” he said. “I just feel so sorry for his family and feel bad because I couldn’t even touch the door.” 

The driver’s name has not been released. 

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