Alvarado man dies after fiery wreck while fleeing from Johnson County deputies

01/24/2014 12:44 PM

01/24/2014 12:45 PM

A 48-year-old Alvarado man died early Friday morning from injuries suffered in a fiery wreck Thursday evening while he was fleeing from Johnson County sheriff’s deputies.

Darrell Ray Barbee was pronounced dead at 12:22 a.m. at a Fort Worth hospital.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday, deputies headed southbound on Interstate 35W in Burleson spotted a maroon four-door Nissan being driven recklessly, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

The Nissan almost rear-ended a white Honda, then swerved in and out of lanes, almost running off the roadway. The driver then accelerated again and almost hit the same white Honda, the release states.

Deputies activated their patrol car lights and sirens and tried to stop the Nissan. The driver appeared to be pulling over to the Bethesda Road exit ramp when he suddenly swerved back onto the highway, narrowly missing two other vehicles as he drove on the right shoulder.

The Nissan was speeding and continued to swerve between lanes, almost hitting other vehicles, when the driver lost control, the release states. The Nissan struck the guardrail, flipped on its top and caught fire.

Deputies were able to put out the fire before it reached Barbee but couldn’t free the driver, according to Lt. Tim Jones.

Burleson firefighters arrived on the scene and extricated Barbee, who was then taken by helicopter ambulance to a Fort Worth hospital where he later died, Jones said.

The release states it is unknown why Barbee fled but says the man has had prior arrests for narcotics. An autopsy by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s Office will determine if drugs or alcohol were involved, the release states.

Burleson police are investigating. The sheriff’s office will review the incident to make sure policy and procedures regarding pursuits were followed, the release states.

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