Local News

Driver of stolen car died in crash during Durham police chase

Posted January 26
Updated January 27

— A driver died Thursday night in Durham while attempting to flee from police in a stolen vehicle.

A Durham police officer in an unmarked car spotted a black Chrysler 200 on South Alston Avenue around 10 p.m., according to the police department. The Chrysler matched the description of a car that was involved in an armed robbery at a business less than 30 minutes earlier.

The officer in the unmarked vehicle called for backup, and an officer in a marked patrol car responded. The officer in the marked car tried to stop the Chrysler, but the driver sped away on Riddle Road.

The male driver, identified as Patrick Edward Timberlake, 26, of Durham, lost control of the car, ran off the road to the left and hit a ditch. The car then flipped on its side and slid into a parked box truck, police said.

Timberlake died at the scene.

Police said the chase lasted less than 30 seconds before Timberlake crashed.

"The crash itself, the impact is what woke me up and I came as fast as I could get outside to see what was going on," said Ed Blick, who lives across the street from where the crash occurred.

The Chrysler was stolen at gunpoint around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday from a woman walking in a shopping center parking lot in the 3600 block of North Duke Street.

"They did mention that the car was stolen. I overheard them say that and that the driver had passed away. My first instinct was to pray for him because, even if the car was stolen, everybody got a right to make a mistake in life," Blick said.

The armed robbery was reported just after 9:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Circle K at 4830 Hope Valley Road. Three men with bandanas covering their faces entered the business, pointed a gun at employees and demanded money. The suspects stole cigarettes and fled in a black Chrysler 200.

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