Suspected thief dies in police chase
DENHAM SPRINGS - Sheriff's deputies said a man killed in a deadly crash this morning in Livingston Parish was fleeing from authorities after stealing two vehicles.
A sheriff's office spokesperson said State Police, LPSO, Walker Police and Denham Springs Police were all investigating the wreck, which shut down 4-H Club Road near Garrison Lane in Denham Springs Tuesday morning.
Deputies said 23-year-old Hunter Lehmann, who was wanted for suspected previous criminal activity in Livingston Parish, died in the wreck.
Investigators said Lehmann was first spotted by Walker Police around 6 a.m. in a pickup with only three wheels, causing sparks to fly out from under it. The pickup crashed near the Walker Police headquarters, and police said he fled the scene. Investigators said the truck was stolen from a nearby neighborhood, and they soon received reports of another stolen vehicle from the Duff Road area.
LPSO said they received a report at 6:50 a.m. of an attempted home invasion on Juban Road in Denham Springs, saying that the homeowner scared away a man who broke into his garage. The homeowner gave deputies a description that matched up with Lehmann and the vehicle he was in.
Denham Springs Police then spotted that vehicle on S. Range Avenue near Vincent Road, and said the driver fled across nearby parking lots and side roads to get away from police. DSPD said they pursued the vehicle, which sped in and out of morning traffic. Police said Lehmann then lost control of the truck, crashing into a tree at 4-H Club Road.
"He had been running from us since six o'clock that morning committing felony crimes so this was a person that needed to be caught," said Livingston Parish Sheriff, Jason Ard.
Deputies said excessive speed and driver impairment are considered to be factors in the deadly crash as the investigation continues.