INDIANOLA, IOWA -- A man who fled Gwinnett County police last month on suspicion of abducting his son died in a high-speed crash Friday after authorities said he smashed his vehicle into an empty patrol car.
The suspect's 5-year-old son survived the wreck, but was seriously injured.
According to a news release from the city of Indianola Police Department, officers tried to pull over a silver 2003 Volkswagen Passat driven by Jeremiah Eldon Johnson, 33, early Friday morning.
"The vehicle fled," the report stated. Deputies chased the car through three different counties before the suspect's Passat smashed into a parked police cruiser.
"As officers approached the vehicle, they observed a male subject deceased in the driver's seat," the report stated. "As officers were looking inside the vehicle, they could hear another subject crying. Officers observed a young child on the floorboard of the suspect's vehicle."
Police said the child was seriously injured and was transported to an area hospital.
According to police, Johnson still had an outstanding warrant for his arrest with Gwinnett County authorities for "fleeing, attempting to elude law enforcement, two counts of obstruction of justice, reckless driving and cruelty to a child, second degree."
In January, Gwinnett County police pulled Johnson over in Buford for allegedly running a red light. An officer ran a check on his license, which indicated that he was wanted in Des Moines, Iowa, in connection with the disappearance of his son.
Before the Gwinnett County policeman could arrest him, Johnson sped off. According to Cpl. Jake Smith with Gwinnett County Police, the officer "gave chase in his vehicle, but maintained a safe distance from the suspect vehicle knowing that a child was in the car."
At the time of the January incident, Smith had noted that it was "theorized that (Johnson) may act on suicidal or homicidal thoughts or (was) attempting to start a new identity with his son."
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