Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Man Killed in Police Chase

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Man Killed in Police Chase

Article excerpt

A shoplifting complaint in Orange Park sparked a police pursuit

and a fatal traffic accident that delayed thousands of rush-hour

drivers on Blanding Boulevard yesterday.

The crash killed a passenger in the fleeing car, which police

said ran a traffic light in Jacksonville and collided with a

pickup truck.

A Clay County deputy had followed the car from the Home Depot

on Wells Road to investigate a complaint about two stolen chain

saws, said Sgt. Wes Gronikowski, a Clay County Sheriff's Office


The car ran a traffic light near Interstate 295 and was running

a second light at Collins Road when the crash occurred about 4

p.m., police said.

The driver of the fleeing car was in critical condition last

night at University Medical Center. Investigators hadn't

identified either of the men in the car last night.

The driver of the pickup also was injured and was taken to

Orange Park Medical Center, said Capt. Randy Brown of the

Florida Highway Patrol. The man's identity and condition were

unavailable last night.

A second pickup truck, which had been heading south on

Blanding, was hit by the car after the initial collision. The

driver of that truck, Lannis Beasley, 59, of Jacksonville, was

not injured, Brown said.

Gronikowski said Clay County Deputy Troy Metcalf was about a

block behind the car when the crash happened. Because of heavy

traffic, neither the deputy nor the suspects were traveling

unusually fast, he said.

The wreck closed Blanding's northbound lanes for two hours and

knotted up traffic in the southbound lanes and on Collins.


MURDER SENTENCING: A man arrested in Ohio while driving the

stolen car of an elderly Jacksonville man who was bludgeoned to

death has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Circuit Judge Brad Stetson on Friday sentenced Christopher

Witters, 25, in the February murder of Jack Sipe, 76.

Witters, who had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, was

arrested in Ohio a week after the murder at Sipe's Collins Road



FATAL CRASH: A Jacksonville man died yesterday after the van

he was driving rear-ended a school bus stopped at a red light. …

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