An Altoona man was killed in a hit and run crash this morning and police say a teenager who was driving a stolen Jeep is to blame. Altoona Police Lieutenant Denny Parker responded to the crash at 7:30 a.m.
“I was just leaving the parking lot at the police department when I heard what sounded like an explosion,” Parker said. He drove two blocks and discovered the crash. Parker says a car driven by 19-year-old Da Jour Sawyers of Waterloo blew through a red light and struck a car driven by 36-year-old Chad Wells.
Wells was pronounced dead at the scene. Sawyers left his vehicle and ran away. “We determined he tried to get into a residence two blocks north of where the crash happened,” Parker said. “We searched the property and located (Sawyers) hiding in the garage.”
Parker says Sawyers was trying to steal the vehicle in garage. The Jeep Sawyers was driving was stolen in Ames but had O’Brien County license plates. Witnesses told police Sawyers was driving recklessly before the crash and may’ve hit speeds of 90 miles an hour.
“We have no idea why he was driving at such a high rate of speed. There were no law enforcement vehicles pursuing him at the time,” Parker said. Sawyers is facing several charges including vehicular homicide.