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Man dies in crash while fleeing deputies in Columbia County

Passenger was injured minorly, according to FHP

File photo of Columbia County Sheriff's Office SUV
File photo of Columbia County Sheriff's Office SUV (Courtesy of Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – A 40-year-old Lake City man died as he was fleeing the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office on U.S. Highway 90 Wednesday night, a Florida Highway Patrol crash report shows.

Authorities said the 40-year-old was driving a sedan on the highway near NW Eadie Street about 11:40 p.m. when he failed to negotiate a curve and lost control of the vehicle, flipping several times and catching fire.

He was ejected from the vehicle during the crash and was rushed to Lake City Medical Center, where he died from his injuries, according to troopers.

In a statement, Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said:

“This incident highlights the importance of complying with law enforcement. This tragedy could have been prevented if the suspect would have simply cooperated with our deputy. We are grateful no other citizens were injured by this suspect’s reckless actions. Our thoughts and prayers are with the suspect’s family.”

According to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office, the pursuit began as a result of a traffic violation.

A passenger in the vehicle, a 34-year-old Lake City man, was injured but was not taken to the hospital, according to FHP. The crash report shows the passenger was wearing a seat belt.

The crash is still under investigation, but further information is expected in the coming weeks.

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