Man killed when crash ends chase


A man being pursued by a state trooper near Churchville yesterday lost control of his car and crashed into a minivan, killing a 66-year-old Harford County resident who had pulled off the road to get out of the way of the pursuit.

William O. Thomas of the 3100 block of Ady Road in Street died at the scene, said Maj. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman.

The 28-year-old driver of the other car, whose identity was not released, was in critical condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Trooper Chris J. Spinner stopped a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant with Florida tags for a seat-belt violation about 3:30 p.m. on southbound Interstate 95 near the Route 22 exit ramp, Shipley said.

The driver gave Spinner his Massachusetts driver's license and the car's rental agreement, which indicated that the vehicle was to have been returned two days earlier, Shipley said. The driver told Spinner he was returning the car to Florida.

Suspecting that the car was stolen, Spinner asked the driver to get out, but he sped off, Shipley said.

The trooper pursued the fleeing driver from I-95 onto Route 22 for about five miles, until the crash, Shipley said.

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