A man wanted for suspected criminal activity died after crashing a stolen truck into a tree near Denham Springs while being chased Tuesday morning by a number of law enforcement agencies, authorities said.
The search began with Walker police spotting a stolen pickup traveling on three wheels, sparks flying, around 6 a.m. before it crashed into a wooded area near the Police Department’s headquarters, Livingston Parish sheriff’s spokeswoman Lori Steele said.
The search ended about an hour later with the driver of a second stolen pickup crashing head-on into a tree while speeding southbound on 4-H Club Road in Denham Springs around 7:15 a.m., Steele said.
Surveillance images from a convenience store confirmed the driver of the two trucks was the same man, Steele said.
The man also matched the description of a suspect who had broken into a garage on Juban Road around 6:50 a.m. then fled when the homeowner confronted him, Steele said.
State Police identified the man as 23-year-old Hunter L. Lehmann, of Denham Springs.
Walker police were gathering a description of the first driver, who fled after crashing a truck stolen from a neighboring parish, when the report of a second truck stolen near Duff Road came in, Steele said.
Denham Springs police spotted the second stolen pickup on South Range Avenue near Vincent Road, Steele said.
When the driver spotted the police car, he steered recklessly off Range into nearby parking lots and onto side roads, Steele said.
Denham Springs police pursued him as he continued to weave in and out of traffic, speeding and driving aggressively, Steele said.
The man was speeding southbound on 4-H Club Road and failed to make a left turn, crashing head-on into a tree, State Police said.
The man was not wearing a seat belt and died in the crash, Trooper First Class Jared Sandifer said.
Driver impairment and excessive speed are suspected factors in the crash, Sandifer said. A toxicology sample was taken and submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.