Garfield Heights Escapee Dies In Traffic Crash

Garfield Heights Escapee

(Garfield Heights) - Police in Garfield Heights say that Donnie Thomas's freedom from their city jail was short-lived.  Thomas died early Friday afternoon at MetroHealth Medical Center after his stolen car crashed into a concrete barrier at the south end of the Jennings Freeway (Route 176).

Thomas attacked a jail guard shortly before 8 O'clock Friday morning and was able to escape the Garfield Heights jail.  He had been arrested overnight as the suspect in a robbery at a Walgreen's store.

Thomas was last seen running from the facility on Oakpark Boulevard.  Later in the morning, it was believed he broke into a house and stole a car.

That stolen car was seen just before noon on I-480.  Police chased the car for a while, but gave up the chase in the interest of safety.

It was after that when the car went out of control, crashing into a center wall of the ramp that carries Route 176 northbound from Brookpark Road and I-480.  Thomas was thrown from the car.  He died later at MetroHealth.

(Photo courtesy of the Garfield Heights Police Department)

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