A Springboro woman died early Thursday morning after leading Franklin police on a pursuit before crashing her vehicle.
Misty B. Sorrell, 40, was the only occupant in a white 1995 Chevrolet pickup truck that crashed about 1:25 a.m. after she failed to negotiate a curve and drove off the left side of the roadway, striking a tree and a fence before being ejected in the 6900 block of Shaker Road, near Kathy Lane, according to Sgt. Christina Hayes of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon post.
The highway patrol’s preliminary investigation indicates speed and failure to wear a seat belt were contributing factors in the fatal crash.
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According to Franklin police, a citizen called 911 about to report a confrontation between a male and female who appeared to have stolen merchandise near a white pickup truck where they were attempting flee from the Walmart parking lot near the grocery entrance.
The caller said they were trying to start up the pickup truck. The caller said the male, who was described as about 6 feet, 3 inches tall with shaggy red or blond hair and wearing khaki pants and a striped hoodie, had started walking toward a nearby apartment complex west of the Walmart store. The caller also reported the woman continued to get the pickup truck started. After it started, she left the parking lot. Police are continuing their search for the male who is believed to have been involved in the theft.
Franklin Police Chief Russell Whitman said several minutes later, the pickup truck was spotted traveling down Anderson Street at a high rate of speed of “at least double the posted speed limit of 25 mph” by an officer coming down East Sixth Street. Whitman said by the time the officer reached the intersection, the traffic light was turning yellow and at that time he activated his overhead lights.
Whitman said by the time the officer was able to see the direction the pickup truck was going, it was between Roberts Avenue and the bridge over Clear Creek. As the officer attempted to pull over the driver, Whitman said the officer asked for permission to begin a pursuit, which was approved by his supervisor. Whitman said the pursuit lasted less than a mile before the car crashed near Kathy Lane.
All pursuits are reviewed by the command staff and instructors to ensure department policy was followed and to determine if any policy issues or training issues need to be changed, Whitman said. He said it appears the pursuit policy was followed but that it will be reviewed more in-depth.
The patrol is continuing its investigation of the fatal crash and Franklin police is investigating the theft and attempted traffic stop as well as searching for the male who is believed to have been involved in the theft.
Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of that person should call Detective David Hatfield at 937-746-2882 or call the police crime tip line at 937-743-1TIP (1847).
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