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Passenger in stolen car killed after police halt pursuit

June 23, 2020 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A passenger in a car that was reported stolen has been killed in a Topeka crash after police called off a pursuit, authorities say.

Police said in a news release that an officer attempted to stop the car around 5:20 .am. Monday, about an hour after receiving a report that the the vehicle had been stolen at gunpoint.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the officer lost sight of the vehicle and ended the pursuit. But a separate officer then observed the stolen vehicle being driven at a high rate of speed before it crashed into a pickup truck.

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Police said in the release that officers weren’t in pursuit of the car at the time of the crash.

Police on Tuesday identified the passenger who was killed as 20-year-old Ricardo Rodriguez, of Topeka. Police spokeswoman Gretchen Koenen said investigators determined he was not involved in the robbery.

Police haven’t released the name of the car’s driver and another passenger who were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The truck’s driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

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