Crime & Courts

Thief dies when get-away truck flips

One of two men who stole a flat-screen television from an Andover Dillons store died early Tuesday morning when the pickup he was in crashed into a creek while it was being chased by police, authorities said.

Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet said the chase began about 1:50 a.m. when a witness called 911 with a description of the men's pickup and a partial tag number.

An Andover police officer spotted the truck on U.S. 54 just east of Andover and chased it to the west to the edge of Augusta, Herzet said.

When the men saw some Augusta police officers ahead of them, Herzet said, they made a U-turn and headed back west on Kellogg.

After driving a quarter-mile, Herzet said, the truck turned south into a field. Shortly after that, he said, it ran off an embankment and landed on its top in a creek.

Herzet said one man managed to crawl out of the truck and was arrested. The other was pronounced dead at the scene.

Herzet identified the survivor as Delbert C. Nelson Jr., a 54-year-old parolee who has been listed as an absconder since April 29. After being treated for minor injuries, Herzet said, Nelson was turned over to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Prison records show he was convicted of forgery and identity theft in Sedgwick County in 2008, and involuntary manslaughter in Lyon County in 1998.

Herzet said investigators are still trying to identify the man killed in the crash and determine who was driving the truck.

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