One person is dead after a police pursuit Thursday evening in Macoupin County ended in a fiery crash at 8:39 p.m. in Bunker Hill.
Christopher Johnson, 32 of Jerseyville, was pronounced deceased on scene at 9:35 p.m., according to Macoupin County Coroner Brad Targhetta. Johnson was alone in the vehicle when police say he fled from a traffic stop before losing control of vehicle, leaving the roadway, and striking a tree.
According to Illinois State Trooper Heath Bryan, an Illinois State Police Trooper attempted to stop Johnson for a traffic stop at 8:10 p.m. Thursday when Johnson fled from the stop for an unknown reason. Bryan said the trooper terminated the stop, but a Macoupin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy later noticed Johnson and attempted to initiate a traffic stop as well.
That’s when Trooper Bryan said Johnson fled from the second stop at a high rate of speed.
“[Johnson] was traveling east on Warren Street (Staunton-Bunker Hill Road) at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control of the vehicle, left the roadway to the north and struck a tree,” Illinois State Police announced in their press release. “The vehicle caught fire and was extinguished by the Bunker Hill Fire Department.”
An autopsy has been scheduled and the cause of death will be determined after tests and reports become available, according to Macoupin County Coroner Brad Targhetta. The family has not selected a funeral home at this time.
Other agencies on scene were Bunker Hill Area Ambulance, Staunton Ambulance, Brighton Police Department, Bunker Hill Police Department, and Macoupin County Sheriff’s Office.
The crash is still under investigation by the Illinois State Police Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit.