Charges are pending against a man who Fort Wayne police said led them on a high-speed chase through downtown Friday morning that ended when he crashed a stolen pickup truck into a pole at West Main Street and Leesburg Road.
City police said they had taken a report about the stolen maroon Chevrolet Silverado pickup about 6:15 a.m. Four hours later, they said, the truck was located on the Allen County parking lot in the 400 block of South Calhoun Street, west of the county jail.
Police responded to recover the vehicle and contacted the owner to get it, according to a statement. But as officers went to meet the owner at the lot's entrance, it said, a man is believed to have left the jail and gotten into the truck.
The suspect drove off the lot in the stolen truck, police said. Officers followed and attempted to stop the truck near the intersection of West Berry Street and Broadway, they said, but the suspect fled and drove west on West Main Street.
When the suspect attempted a northbound turn onto Leesburg Road, police said, he lost control of the truck and struck a utility pole.
They said the suspect, who was not identified, was not wearing a seat belt. He was ejected from the truck, and the pole landed on his midsection, police said.
The man was taken to a local hospital for treatment; his condition was not immediately known.
A woman driving on Main Street near Leesburg said the man came flying around her before hitting the pole.
"I was just talking to my mom (on the phone) when I saw this maroon truck in my rear-view mirror," said Taisha Jeffries, 34, of Fort Wayne. "I thought 'He's going to hit me.'"
Jeffries, who said she was enjoying a blended coffee drink at the time, was able to get out of the way. She saw the truck round the corner with Leesburg Road and then saw a pole shake.