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Abilene man dead after police chase in stolen patrol car ends in crash with big rig



ABILENE, TX – An Abilene man is dead after a police chase in a stolen patrol car ended in a crash with an 18-wheeler.

Haskell County Sheriff David Halliburton said one of his deputies made contact with a vehicle around 10:15 p.m. Monday at a roadside park in Haskell.

For some reason, the driver — 44-year-old John Nichols — took off and led police on a chase north on Hwy 277 towards Weinert.

Law enforcement eventually deployed spike strips causing the front tires to go flat.

The vehicle came to a stop at the John Deere dealership.

Haskell County deputies and officers from Haskell and Stamford police departments surrounded the vehicle.

At one point, Nichols was pepper sprayed.

But Halliburton said Nichols still managed to steal a Haskell Police Department patrol car and take off southbound on Hwy 277.

Officers fired eight shots at the vehicle.

About two miles later, Nichols crashed head-on into an 18-wheeler.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by a Jones County coroner.

KTXS has a crew working to gather more information and will have more tonight on KTXS News at 5:00 and KTXS News at 6:00.