Man shot dead after police chase

April 2, 2009 9:36:09 AM PDT
Investigators say a police chase through Lehigh County ended when a man pulled a rifle and was shot dead by officers.

It all started a little before 11:00 on Wednesday night at Main and Church Streets in Fogelsville. That's where officers responded to a call of a one-car accident.

When officers arrived on scene they say the driver of a black Nissan pick up truck, identified as 42-year-old Robert J. Espenshade of Allentown, began driving away from the scene.

Police followed the driver on a high-speed chase that ended when the driver's car hit a pole at Main Street and Adams Road in Upper Macungie Township, then flipped over.

When officers approached the car, they say the driver had a rifle in his hands.

Officers took cover, then tried to get close to the vehicle again. They say that's when the driver raised his rifle and aimed it at them.

Officers opened fire, killing the driver.

An autopsy will be performed on Friday to determine the exact cause of death.

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