Car Theft Suspect Drowns While Fleeing From Police

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY — Authorities say a car theft suspect drowned while fleeing from Rancho Cordova Police officers Saturday morning.

Around 7 a.m. officers spot a stolen vehicle occupied by two males near Coloma Road and Sunrise Boulevard. When officers tried to make a stop the suspected car thief led them on a chase entering Highway 50 going above 100 mph.

The suspect exited at Howe Avenue and entered the Howe Avenue River Access where the pursuit ended.

The driver, Jerome Johnson, 34, exited the car and fled into the wooded parkway; the passenger stayed behind and was detained.

While searching for Johnson, a subject matching his description was spotted attempting to swim across the river. Shortly after, it appeared he was struggling to swim and officers lost sight of him.

Rescuers were able to locate Johnson under water with the help of the Sacramento Metro Fire helicopter.

He was found unconscious and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.