Farmington man dies following police chase, crash in Rolla

A Farmington man died from his injuries in a police pursuit. (MGN Online)

A man chased by police Tuesday morning crashed into a ditch and died from his injuries.

According to a post from the Rolla Police Department, an officer saw a silver Dodge Stratus drive erratically through a roundabout at Kingshighway and Martin Springs Drive and drive away at a high rate of speed just after 1:20 a.m.

The officer activated his lights in an attempt to pull the car over, but the suspect vehicle continued to accelarate westbound on Martin Springs Drive and was "weaving badly." The officer was led to believe the driver, later identified as 39-year-old John Atkinson of Farmington, was intoxicated. The release revealed Atkinson was wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service. for escape.

Atkinson lost control of the car, drove off the road and crashed into a small creek ditch near Martin Springs Drive and County Road 7000. The officer called in emergency personnel as Atkinson was trapped inside the vehicle, unconscious but breathing. He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the police release.

Rolla Rural Fire Department and Doolittle Fire Department assisted in extricating Atkinson from the car. He was taken via helicopter to University Hospital where he died from his injuries.

Police said it was believed Atkinson was intoxicated at the time of the accident and that toxicology reports were pending.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Phelps County Ambulance, Rolla Rural Fire Department, Doolittle Fire Department and Phelps County Coroner assisted the Rolla Police Department in the scene.

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