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Driver killed in violent crash following pursuit in Grand Forks

Police responded to an early morning crash in the 200 block of Belmont Road on Thursday, Aug. 2, in Grand Forks. Sydney Mook / Forum News Service

GRAND FORKS -- One person is dead following a serious crash that left the vehicle torn in pieces early Thursday morning, Aug. 2, in Grand Forks.

The wreckage of a passenger car appeared to be in three large pieces, strewn along a 10-to-15-foot stretch of Belmont Road in front of St. Mary’s Catholic church, on the 200 block of Belmont.

According to a Grand Forks Police news release, an officer initiated a traffic stop on the white, four-door sedan around 5:15 a.m. Thursday. Police say the driver refused to stop and attempted to evade the officer.

As the driver was nearing the downtown area, police said the driver “rapidly accelerated and turned off his headlights, in further attempts to elude the officer.”

At that point, the patrol supervisor terminated the pursuit, as conditions posed “too great a hazard” to the public to continue the pursuit.

Shortly after the pursuit ended, the responding officer reported that the vehicle had crashed into a tree, causing extreme damage, and the driver was ejected.

Officers rendered aid and called paramedics from Altru Hospital. The person was pronounced dead on scene.

At the scene the vehicle could be seen split in half, with the front part of the vehicle resting near the road and the rear end resting on a sidewalk, near a fence in front of the church. Other debris, including the front bumper, was also scattered across the road.

The name of the driver is being withheld pending identification and family notification, police said.

Traffic was diverted from the intersection of South Fifth Street and Belmont to Third Avenue South.