CIRCLEVILLE - An Amanda man died in a crash just after midnight Friday while being pursued as a suspect following reports of shots fired on East Main Street in the city.
Joseph Huston, 21, of Amanda, was pronounced dead at the scene on state Route 56 East in Salt Creek Township by Dr. John Ellis, Pickaway County Coroner.
According to the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office, Sgt. Tim Carpenter spotted Huston's 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which matched the description of the vehicle suspected in the reported shooting, traveling eastbound on Route 56 near Tarlton Road. The vehicle sped off at the sight of the cruiser, and Carpenter said speeds reached in excess of 90 miles per hour before Huston lost control in a left curve and ran off the right side of the roadway just east of Route 159.
Huston's vehicle struck a road sign, then continued another 600 feet before striking the side of a semi truck parked on private property about 12:04 a.m. Saturday.
Investigators said Huston was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and suffered a fatal injury.
City police later confirmed they found no evidence of shots having been fired on East Main Street prior to the pursuit. The suspect vehicle, however, is believed to have been involved in a hit-skip crash with a parked car in that area, and investigators believe the sound of that crash may have been initially mistaken for gunfire.
An autopsy is being performed by the Montgomery County Coroner's Office, and the crash remains under investigation.
Crews from the Tarlton and Pickaway Township fire departments assisted at the scene, along with Sgt. John Schleich and deputies Britt Ramey, Stacey Eitel and Jeremy Wallace from the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office.