Robert Dwayne Green was pronounced dead at East Texas Medical Center Gilmerat 11:55 p.m. by Upshur County Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Rhonda Welch, Grunden said.
Green’s northbound 2000 Mercedes-Benz was traveling at a high rate of speed when it struck the pillar of the overpass, which is under construction, at the intersection of U.S. 271 S. and Hwy. 155 S. in city limits, Grunden said. He said the crash occurred at 10:48 p.m.
The Sheriff’s Office had notified city police at 10:44 p.m. that a deputy was pursuing a car which was northbound toward Gilmer on south Hwy. 155, and whose occupant was throwing something out the window, Grunden said.
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Walt Smith laid spikes to slow the fleeing car at the rural intersection of FM 2685 and Hwy. 155, and the vehicle traveled 1.38 miles past that point before crashing a short distance inside city limits, Grunden said.
Green crossed the intersection with U.S. 271 and lost control before slamming into the middle pillar of three pillars to the left. The police report on the incident did not identify the sheriff’s deputy, and his identity remained unknown at press time.
No narcotics or illegal items were found in Green’s vehicle, said Grunden, who said police Sgt. Marc Rider’s report on the incident did not indicate what triggered the chase, since city police only investigated the accident itself.
Grunden said Tuesday investigation is continuing. Green, who was alone, was not wearing a seat belt, but the car’s airbag deployed, the chief said.
The Gilmer Fire Dept. used an extrication tool to open a door of the car, although Green was not trapped in the wreckage, a firefighter said.