York County, NE – Two people and a sheriff’s K9 were killed on Tuesday night after a man claiming to have a gun stole a “marked patrol canine unit” and ran it and another car into a train.
The incident began at about 11 p.m. on Feb. 8 when a York County sheriff’s deputy spotted a 2008 silver Ford F-150 driving erratically near the intersection of Road H and Road 15, according to KETV.
The deputy tried to conduct a traffic stop but the driver fled, leading the deputy on a chase that reached speeds in excess of 100 mph before it ended eight minutes later at Road H and Road 18.
The York County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect got out of his vehicle and claimed that he had a gun, KETV reported.
The sheriff’s department said the suspect concealed his hands and told the officer there that he wanted to die.
Officials said he ignored deputies’ commands and advanced toward them, KETV reported.
Then he managed to jump into a “marked patrol canine unit” that was parked at the scene and flee yet again.
Police chased the suspect driving the sheriff’s patrol unit, pursuing him at a high rate of speed through York County and the city of York before the driver stopped the vehicle on train tracks across the roadway at 19th Street and Delaware Avenue, KETV reported.
Then the suspect got out of the vehicle as a train started to approach the area.
Deputies rushed to try and rescue York County Sheriff’s K9 Nitro from the patrol vehicle but the suspect jumped back in and fled, KETV reported.
Just then, the train came through and deputies were trapped on the opposite side of the tracks from the fleeing canine patrol unit.
The sheriff’s department said that the suspect drove up a few blocks before he turned around and drove straight at the moving train at “a high rate of speed,” KETV reported.
The suspect slammed the patrol vehicle into another car that was sitting at the railroad crossing waiting for the train to pass and pushed both the canine patrol unit and the bystander’s car into the path of the train.
Deputies said the suspect, the innocent bystander, and K9 Nitro were all killed upon impact, KETV reported.
The driver of the car that was hit by the suspect has been identified as Kyle Ediger, a math teacher in the Hampton Public Schools.
The school district said that Ediger had worked for Hampton schools for nine years and was also the Hampton boys’ basketball coach, KETV reported.
Authorities have not yet released the name of the suspect who was killed.