MPD: Man dies when he crashes the car he just stole

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a crash that left an alleged car thief dead in Midtown.

Memphis police said they were in the area of Poplar and Avalon when they spotted a red Honda pull into the Planet Fitness parking lot. The passenger reportedly jumped out of the car and into a parked white Honda.

Police said the driver of the first car was quickly taken into custody, but the second fled the scene in the stolen car, eventually hitting an unmarked squad car.

The driver continued down the street where he hit a utility pole and tree on North Avalon.

He was pronounced dead by first responders.

Authorities later learned the red Honda was also stolen.

The Memphis Police Department said they do not believe the officers were in pursuit at the time of the crash, but they asked the THP to conduct an official investigation anyway.

Officers later arrested the driver of the red Honda. Shawn Nichols was arrested and charged with Theft of Property, unlawful possession of controlled substance to wit Methamphetamine and facilitation of a felony.