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Man dies after pursuit, crash on Indianapolis' northeast side identified

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Posted at 8:43 AM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 12:54:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A man died after crashing into a tree during a brief pursuit on Indianapolis' northeast side Sunday evening.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were in the area of E. 32nd Street and Shick Drive when they saw a Silver Impala disregard a stop sign, according to PIO Aaron Hamer. The officers then attempted to conduct a traffic stop and the driver of the vehicle drove off, leading the officers on a short pursuit through a neighborhood.

The pursuit ended when the vehicle struck a tree, according to Hamer.

Emergency crews were immediately called, but due to what appeared to be movement inside the vehicle officers treated the scene as a barricaded subject, according to Hamer. Officers attempted to conduct a felony traffic stop and created a distance from the vehicle while calling in SWAT officers to assist. Officers made several attempts to order the driver out of his vehicle over the PA and a SWAT officer also deployed a noise flash diversionary device to get the driver's attention but they received no response. Eventually, a K-9 officer approached the vehicle and broke out the window, finding the driver unconscious in the car.

The driver was then rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Marion County Coroner has identified the driver as Dennis Thomas, 46. His cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma.

As a result of the fatal accident, IMPD's Internal Affairs Unit will conduct an investigation, which is standard procedure, to ensure that all policies were followed.

If anyone has any information to provide police, you can contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.