Car was stolen in fatal Springfield pursuit crash

A man is dead after a police pursuit ended in a crash just after midnight Saturday.

Dale R. James Jr., 26, of Springfield, was pronounced dead at the scene on South Limestone Street near Auburn Avenue, according to the Clark County Coroner's Office.

James was driving a stolen Oldsmobile Aurora and had several outstanding warrants for his arrest, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol Springfield Post.

Springfield police began pursuing the white vehicle after an officer spotted it driving without headlights. The officer attempted to stop the car and it began driving down the wrong side of South Limestone near Pleasant Avenue.

The car turned around and began traveling southbound on South Limestone at speeds of approximately 80 mph before the driver of the vehicle lost control, went off the roadway and struck a parked box truck. The car flipped, landing on its top and the driver was ejected from the vehicle, according to OHP.

James was the only occupant of the vehicle. Initial investigation shows he was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of impact.

OHP was not involved in the pursuit, but was called to the scene to handle the crash investigation.

"When we pursue somebody we take the safety of the public first and foremost," said OHP Sgt. Merrill Thompson. "We weigh the fact of what we are attempting to stop them (drivers) for versus what could possibly happen out of the pursuit."

Springfield police said the officer who was chasing the vehicle never caught up to the car.

South Limestone was temporarily closed during the on-scene investigation.

The incident remains under investigation.

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