LEIGHTON — A man being pursued by police crashed the vehicle he was driving in rural Mahaska County early Saturday morning. He was ejected during the crash and suffered fatal injuries, police said.

The Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office said they received a complaint of a vehicle traveling the wrong way on Highway 163 at 5:09 a.m. Saturday between Oskaloosa and Pella. The vehicle, according to the report, was driving westbound in the eastbound lane of Highway 163. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office received a similar call.

A deputy from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was able to stop the vehicle near Otley on Highway 163. After the deputy stopped the vehicle and contacted the driver, the driver put the vehicle in gear and sped away. Law enforcement pursued the driver eastbound on Highway 163 at a high rate of speed.

Near Highway 163 and Eaton Avenue, in Mahaska County, the driver lost control of the vehicle and rolled multiple times. The vehicle struck a building and the driver was ejected from the vehicle, and suffered fatal injuries.

The driver has not been identified pending notification of his family. Law enforcement say the man is from Fresno, California.

His body was taken to Ankeny for an autopsy by the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office is working with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa State Patrol to conduct the investigation into this accident. They were assisted by members of the Mahaska County Dispatch Center, the Oskaloosa Police Department and the Mahaska Health Ambulance Service.

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