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Female acquaintance of man killed in Johnston County car chase found dead

1 dead after car chase in Clayton

A person has died after a car chase east of Claytoninitiated by the North Carolina Highway Patrol after the report of a a stolen vehicle .Investigators with the Highway Patrol are on the scene of the wreck east of Clayton on Business U.S. 70 Monday.
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A person has died after a car chase east of Claytoninitiated by the North Carolina Highway Patrol after the report of a a stolen vehicle .Investigators with the Highway Patrol are on the scene of the wreck east of Clayton on Business U.S. 70 Monday.

A female acquaintance of a man killed after a car chase east of Clayton in Johnston County on Monday has been found dead, a local news station has reported.

The woman — whose relationship to the driver wasn’t released — was found dead at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, WRAL first reported.

Smithfield police haven’t released details about the death, including whether the police chase may have been connected, according to the station.

The chase involved the exchange of gunfire between the driver and law enforcement officials before the driver crashed into the woods, according to a news release.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials have not identified the driver or said how he died, whether by gunfire or in the crash.

The chase began around 4:23 p.m. on Black Creek Road after the N.C. Highway Patrol responded to a report of a stolen truck, the highway patrol said Monday night in a news release.

The tow truck was stolen from a used car lot in Smithfield, multiple media outlets reported. Officers from Four Oaks, Smithfield and Clayton joined the chase, it was reported.

As the chase continued onto U.S. 70 West, the driver of the tow truck began shooting at the state troopers, according to the Highway Patrol’s release. The troopers fired back, the release said.

The chase ended when the tow truck ran over stop sticks officers placed across the westbound lanes of Business U.S. 70 and crashed into a wooded area, WNCN reported.

Aerial video from ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner, showed an overturned white tow truck in a wooded area near Hardee Lane.

The highway was closed for a short time around 4:30, video showed.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation, which is standard when an officer is involved in a shooting.

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Joe Johnson is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer. He most recently covered towns in western Wake County and Chatham County. Before that, he covered high school sports for The Herald-Sun.
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