Sunday September 25th, 2022 4:00PM

Georgia man dies after car fleeing police strikes his vehicle

By The Associated Press
<p>A Georgia man on his way home after spending Christmas in Texas with his family was killed when a man fleeing police crashed into his vehicle, police said.</p><p>David Coon, 59, of Gainesville, Ga., was struck by a truck driven by Tommy Vargas, 37, of Jackson.</p><p>The pursuit began Thursday by a Brandon police officer who spotted Vargas driving a 1995 Chevrolet truck more than 100 mph with his headlights off on Interstate 20 west of Jackson.</p><p>Pearl police and the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol joined in the pursuit as it sped through Pearl and into Jackson, police departments in both cities said in a news release.</p><p>A Pearl police officer used Stopsticks, designed to slowly bring a vehicle to a stop, but the device punctured the right front tire of Vargas' truck, the release said. Vargas kept driving but he crossed over the median and headed west in the eastbound lanes of I-20, the release said.</p><p>Vargas' truck then slammed into Coon's car, said Jackson Police Department spokesman Robert Graham.</p><p>Vargas, whose blood police said later tested positive for cocaine, leaped from the I-20 overpass and broke his ankles, police said. He was listed in fair condition at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on Friday, said Thyrie Bland, hospital spokesman.</p><p>Coon was taken to UMC, where he was pronounced dead, said Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart.</p><p>"He had a lot of internal bleeding," she said.</p><p>Vargas faces "multiple charges with multiple jurisdictions," according to the release.</p><p>Coon is at least the 52nd person to die during police pursuits in Mississippi since January 2000, according to the Victims of Police Pursuits.</p><p>Eight people have died during police pursuits in Mississippi this year, the group said.</p>
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