DES MOINES, Iowa — The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal fiery crash that started with someone breaking into vehicles Monday morning in Greenfield Plaza.
The pursuit began around 9 a.m. Monday on County Line Road and ended less than two miles away just past Southeast 14th Street.
Officials say he driver of the stolen car was going well over 100 mph. He lost control, went into a ditch, hit a culvert and became airborne for about 40 feet.
"He was pinned from the knees down. Deputies got there and the car was on fire so they got him out of the vehicle, got the fire out, but it was too late," said Warren County Sheriff Brian Vos.
The totalled Mercedes-Benz was stolen out of Jan Agan's garage.
"I'm very shook up about it. Very shook up. It just upsets me," said Agan.
About an hour before the suspect stole Agan's car, neighbors called 911 to report a man peaking inside windows and lurking outside around cars.
"The deputy made contact with the male at that time," said Vos.
The man checked out so Vos says the deputy let him go only to be called back to the neighborhood later on.
“The minute I saw that car it was obvious he was going very, very fast,” witness Joyce Fargo said.
She saw the driver being chased by authorities near County Line Road and Southeast 5th.
“I knew by the way I saw him driving he wasn’t going to make it. You can’t go down this road at 110 mph and survive,” Fargo added.
The driver’s identity hasn’t been released. Sheriff Vos says Des Moines Police received complaints about the same man loitering at a gas station this morning.
"I'm just thankful that no one else got hurt you know when he was speeding with my car," said Agan.