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Suspect in police chase, deadly crash taken into custody; victim identified

A driver led police on a chase Tuesday morning before the crash on northbound Highway 75 near Pine and Peoria. (KTUL)

The suspect in Wednesday morning's police chase and deadly crash on Highway 75 was taken into custody this afternoon, and the victim has been identified by his employer.

Jerry Lee Newman, 24, was arrested near 31st and Garnett around 2 p.m. He was escorted in handcuffs into the police department for questioning just before 4 p.m.

Investigators initially called Newman a person of interest while searching a neighborhood near North Lewis and Ute where he was believed to be. He was later captured at a home near 31st and Garnett after investigators pinged his cellphone to the area.

Captain Jason Holt, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop B commander, says investigators arrived at the home and spotted Newman through the window. Newman was caught as he tried to run.

Holt says two women were inside the home cleaning. They told investigators Newman knocked on the door and asked to use the bathroom, but investigators learned the three arrived at the home together after reviewing surveillance video from the apartment across the street.

Holt says the women are being questioned and may face charges for aiding and abetting.

Newman is the suspect in a deadly crash early Wednesday that followed a high-speed chase with law enforcement.

According to OHP, a man stole an Oklahoma Natural Gas truck before leading officers on a high-speed chase that ended when the suspect crashed into another vehicle on northbound Highway 75 near Pine and Peoria. One person died in the crash while the suspect fled the scene. Officers continued their manhunt near Atlanta and Ute for most of the day.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Sapulpa Police Lt. Troy Foreman offered a timeline of the police chase and crash. Foreman says his officers were dispatched to Rush Trucking at 6015 S. 49th W. Ave. around 5:45 a.m. after someone reported a man climbing over a fence to access the property. When officers arrived, they saw an unknown man inside the fenced area and inside a truck. As the suspect drove toward the fence he spotted an officer and started toward another gate at the back side of the business. The suspect then pointed the truck toward the officer, ramming through the gate.

The subsequent police chase continued through parts of north Tulsa and the Tulsa International Airport. Foreman says officers unsuccessfully tried stopping the truck with stop sticks near North Sheridan and Highway 11. The truck spun out and crashed through a fence but continued toward the airport where it slammed through a gate and entered the tarmac.

The west runway of the airport was temporarily closed but commercial air traffic was not impacted.

Foreman says the driver crossed several active runways, prompting OHP to attempt a tactical vehicle intervention but it was unsuccessful. The suspect then crashed through another fence at the airport and exited onto Port Road. The chase continued onto Highway 75 where the suspect, traveling southbound, entered the northbound lanes. OHP then terminated the pursuit because of the danger posed to fellow drivers.

A short time later, Tulsa police came upon a crash believed to have involved the crash suspect's vehicle and reported seeing a man fleeing the scene where the other driver was killed. The victim, William Bruckman, was identified by his employer, Containment Solutions, Inc. The company released the following statement.

Containment Solutions is saddened to confirm that our employee, Mr. William Bruckman was killed in an early morning vehicle accident during the Tulsa Police Department’s pursuit of a stolen vehicle. William was a valued member of our company since June of 2016 and will be truly missed by everyone that knew him. Our hearts and prayers are with Mrs. Bruckman and her family.

The suspect was caught on security camera running across a lot at Interstate Steel & Metals at 2100 N. Lewis Ave.

Investigators launched a manhunt at a north Tulsa neighborhood. Captain Holt, with OHP, says they believe Newman was at the home after the crash but they're still developing a timeline.

After developing Newman as a suspect, investigators pinged his cellphone, leading them to the home near 31st and Garnett.

Holt says they believe Newman is connected to one of the women also found at the home where he was arrested, and they believe the women are connected to the home near Lewis and Ute where investigators spent much of the day.

Holt also says Newman could face a first-degree murder charge since Bruckman was killed during the commission of a felony.

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