Roxboro coach hurt in fiery head-on crash that left suspect dead

TIMBERLAKE, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Tuesday it's still trying to identify a driver killed in a fiery head-on crash during a chase in Person County on Monday.

It happened along U.S. Hwy 501 just south of Timberlake near the Person County-Durham County line.

Pictures from Chopper 11 HD showed a burned-out Kia on its side in the median just south of the NC Hwy 57 (Hillsborough Road) junction.

There was another SUV with severe front-end damage. That driver, Earl Bailey, suffered serious injuries.

Roxboro Police Chief David Hess said it all began when his officers were doing a safety checkpoint in the area of Foushee Street and Garret Street. The Kia made a U-turn about 500 yards away and left the area.

Police put out a Be On The Lookout (BOLO) for the Kia, but Hess said his officers did not give chase.

Person County sheriff's deputies spotted the stolen Kia with a wanted person inside and were actively chasing it when the crash happened. Witnesses said the Kia was driving erratically before the collision in the northbound lanes.

"Our hearts are heavy for the loss of life today in this tragic police chase," Chief Hess said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and deputies involved in this horrific tragedy. Anytime someone chooses to flee the danger increases. Simply complying with the traffic laws may have allowed this incident not to occur. This is a tragic loss of life."

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It happened near the border of Person and Durham counties.

Troopers said the driver of the Kia crossed the median and hit the other SUV. Bailey, the driver of the second vehicle, was taken to Duke Medical Center with serious injuries.

The father of two coaches basketball at Roxboro Community School where his children attend. The athletic director told us he was stunned when he got the news Bailey had been hit.

"It's hard to believe that anyone could survive a crash like that. Earl had the good Lord riding with him and I am so grateful for that," said Pete Tuck.

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