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Woman dead after police pursuit ends in crash in Franklin

Posted at 5:29 AM, Jan 10, 2019

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP (WARREN COUNTY), Ohio — A woman suspected of shoplifting died in a crash after police said she sped away from officers who tried to pull her over.

Misty Sorrell, 40, of Springboro, was driving south on Shaker Road in a 1995 Chevrolet pickup truck at about 1:25 a.m. when she failed to negotiate a curve and drove off the left side of the road, hitting a tree and fence, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Sorrell was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Before the crash, Franklin police said they were alerted to two people who were believed to be shoplifting from the Walmart on Second Street. One person ran from the store and the other drove off in a white pickup truck.

About 10 minutes later, police said they saw a truck matching the description driving through town. When officers tried to pull over the driver, she sped away.

Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman said a supervisor gave permission to an officer to pursue the truck. Police dash cam video shows the pursuit. It lasted less than a mile before the truck went off the side of the road.

"Our condolences go out to the family," Whitman said. "We certainly didn't wish this end on anyone."

Whitman said that all pursuits are reviewed by the department's entire command staff and instructors to check for any violations. He said the initial look at this pursuit video hasn't raised any issues. Now the department will make sure the officer involved is mentally OK.

"These can affect the officers," he said. "It is a younger officer, so we'll make sure he's taken care of."

Police are still looking for the man who ran from the Walmart.

Troopers said they believe speed was a factor in the crash. It remains under investigation by the OSHP Lebanon Post.