FHP stops stolen Ryder truck with caskets inside

Truck reported stolen in Jacksonville Thursday stopped after slow-speed chase

By Jennifer Ready - Reporter, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A slow-speed pursuit of a stolen box truck on Interstate 295 on Monday ended after the vehicle finally pulled over on Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway and the driver was arrested.

When troopers opened the back to see what was inside, they found three caskets. Fortunately for all involved, there were no bodies inside.

FHP photo of arrestFHP said the Ryder truck was reported stolen from a Jacksonville casket company last Thursday.

The vehicle was not speeding -- actually going below the speed limit -- but the driver, later identified as David Ayers, continued driving for several miles after the trooper activated the lights of his patrol car.

"The speeds were not excessive. The speeds only got to 55-60 mph on the interstate system," FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan said.

In addition to the caskets, there were additional items in the truck, including what appeared to be a payment system for a car wash vacuum. 

"It possibly looks like this subject was perhaps in the Jacksonville area doing some burglaries," Bryan said.

According to FHP, Ayers was arrested and charged with auto theft, fleeing and attempting to elude, driving without a license and other charges.

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