Man killed in crash while trying to outrun Florence police officer

FLORENCE, Colo. (KKTV) - A 23-year-old man fatally crashed early Sunday while trying to flee a police officer.

State Patrol says Jeremiah Patton tried to launch his car over a creek in Florence and crashed head-on into an embankment. His Ford Focus sailed in the air for a moment before hitting a second embankment head-on. Patton was thrown from his car, only to land back in its path as the vehicle flipped. The car landed on its roof, crushing Patton beneath the hood. He died at the scene.

It was a horrifying sight for neighbors awoken by the commotion.

"I saw a car upside-down and a body underneath the car," said William Martinez, who lives next to the creek.

"He had to have been going really fast. Really fast."

The Florence police chief said speed was the whole reason Patton was being pulled over to begin with. An officer saw him blazing past just before 2 a.m. and tried to make a traffic stop. Patton kept going and had stretched his lead to two blocks before making his fatal jump over the creek bed on East 6th Street.

State troopers are now investigating whether drugs or alcohol played any part in the incident. Court records show Patton had two previous drinking and driving convictions.