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A man who attempted to burglarize a ZX gas station then flee from Cahokia Police crashed his vehicle and died Wednesday morning.
The suspect drove his vehicle off the northbound ramp from Illinois 3 onto the Poplar Street Bridge. It landed on its roof.
Illinois State Police say they are in the very early stages of a police investigation and could provide few details.
St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. identified the burglary suspect as Ronald A Powell, 50, of of 505 Brotherton Lane in Ferguson, Mo. “He was pronounced at the scene at 3:10 a.m.,” Dye said. The cause of death was blunt trauma related to the crash.
Cahokia Police Chief David Landmann said the suspect was trying to break into the gas station on Water Street through a window. He fled when police arrived.
Landmann said the fleeing suspect slammed into a concrete barrier on the Poplar Street Bridge in his get away attempt and the car he was driving dropped approximately 60 feet to the ground, killing him.
The driver is believed to be the only occupant of the vehicle, Landmann said. Illinois State Police have taken over the investigation, he said.
Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Elbert Jennings said Cahokia Police were called about the attempted burglary at 12:17 a.m. Police arrived on scene and discovered that the business was closed.
“It was a burglary in progress,” Jennings said. “A witness observed the vehicle and provided police with a description of the suspect’s vehicle. Police tried to stop the fleeing suspect vehicle on Illinois Route 3.”
The vehicle sped down Illinois 3, headed toward the Poplar Street Bridge. Police pursued the car until it went over the barricade.
Officers located the suspect, who had been ejected from the vehicle.
“It appears the vehicle went off Illinois Route 3 northbound ramp onto the Poplar Street Bridge. It was airborne for several hundred yards. The vehicle landed on ts roof,” Jennings said.