Police have identified a man killed when the stolen car he was driving crashed during a brief police chase Thursday night as Patrick Edward Timberlake, 26, of Durham.
The pursuit lasted less than 30 seconds after officers spotted a black Chrysler 200 that had been reported stolen at gunpoint Wednesday night, police said in a release.
The Chrysler also matched the description of a vehicle that had been involved in an armed robbery of a business less than 30 minutes earlier.
An officer in an unmarked car saw the Chrysler going north on South Alston Avenue shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday and requested backup.
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A short time later, an officer in a patrol car got behind the Chrysler on Riddle Road, but the driver sped away eastbound on Riddle Road, lost control, ran off the road to the left and hit a ditch.
The Chrysler then flipped on its side and slid until it struck a parked box truck. The driver, later identified as Timberlake, was pronounced dead at the scene.
There were no other occupants.
The Chrysler was stolen at gunpoint around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday from a shopping center parking lot in the 3600 block of North Duke Street, according to police. A woman told officers she was walking to her car when a man pointed a gun at her and demanded her keys. He fled in the woman’s car, which police confirmed was the one that crashed on Riddle Road.
The armed robbery was reported at 9:37 p.m. Thursday at the Circle K at 4830 Hope Valley Road. Three males wearing bandanas over their faces entered the business, pointed a gun at employees and demanded money. The suspects stole cigarettes and fled in a black Chrysler 200.
The fatal accident is being investigated by the Durham Police Department’s Traffic Services and Professional Standards Units, which is standard procedure.