05/02/05 — Police chase ends in fatal crash near Calypso

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Police chase ends in fatal crash near Calypso

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on May 2, 2005 1:49 PM

CALYPSO -- A driver from Greenville, fleeing from Wayne County authorities Sunday night, smashed head on into a tractor-trailer truck loaded with hogs on U.S. 117 south, and was killed instantly, officials said.

The victim was identified as 25-year-old Tyron M. Best.

The chase started at 11:39 p.m. when Goldsboro police Cpl. Mike Goudy saw a speeding sport utility vehicle going west on Dr. M.L. King Jr. Expressway, the U.S. 70 Bypass, near Wayne Memorial Drive, police officials said today.

Goudy estimated the speed of the SUV at 70 mph and turned on his radar and got the same speed. He turned on his blue lights and siren and pursued the SUV. Goudy called dispatchers who told him the SUV was registered to a woman in Raleigh.

The 1996 Land Rover turned south on U.S. 117, changed lanes recklessly, sped past Arrington Bridge Road and continued toward Mount Olive. Goudy said he stopped his chase at N.C. 55 because he was losing radio contact.

Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders, Mount Olive police and the Highway Patrol took over the pursuit. Mount Olive police blocked entrances to U.S. 117 so that traffic would not get involved in the chase. The vehicles reached speeds at 100 mph, officers said.

At some point, the driver appeared to throw property from the big SUV, Goudy said. Officers later searched the highway but could not find anything.

Best continued down U.S. 117 and entered Duplin County. His vehicle crossed the center line, lawmen said. An oncoming, northbound tractor-trailer truck swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid the SUV, investigators said, but Best also swerved and struck the big rig head on, about four-tenths of a mile north of Calypso.

The tractor-trailer jackknifed on the right shoulder. The SUV was reduced to pieces scattered 100 yards along the road, reports said.

The trucker, Mario Antonio Polanco, 31, of Wilson, was treated and released from Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Damages were estimated at $45,000 to the 2000 International tractor-trailer. The Land Rover, valued at $7,000, was destroyed. It was registered to Wilhelmina Alford.

The truck's fuel tanks ruptured in the crash. Sand was spread on the road to absorb the spill and the lanes were closed for about three hours while the scene was cleaned up.

Faison police, Calypso and Faison volunteer firefighters, Faison and Duplin rescue personnel, state Department of Motor Vehicle officers and medical examiner Dr. Hervy Kornegay assisted at the scene.