Police: Inmate escapes jail, steals car, dies after crash

GARFIELD HEIGHTS (AP) — Police in suburban Cleveland say an inmate attacked a guard, escaped from jail and led authorities on a freeway chase that ended in a fiery crash resulting in the inmate’s death.

Garfield Heights police say 34-year-old Donnie J. Thomas was pronounced dead at a hospital. Police say no one else was injured in the crash.

Authorities say Thomas was arrested early Friday in a pharmacy robbery and escaped from the Garfield Heights jail after overpowering a guard around 8 a.m. They say Thomas ran into a neighborhood where he broke into a house, took a set of keys and stole a car.

Authorities spotted Thomas and began chasing at speeds over 100 mph. They say Thomas drove over an embankment, hit a concrete barrier and was thrown from the car.


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