A 60-year-old Joliet man was killed when a sport utility vehicle fleeing the cops crashed into his car early Sunday and sent him careening into a tree, police said.
Suos Khloth was pronounced dead at the AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center emergency room about 2:30 a.m., according to the Will County Coroner’s Office.
Khloth was the “driver of a vehicle that collided with another vehicle and then struck a fixed object” near the corner of West Jefferson Street and South Reedwood Drive, the coroner’s office said in a recorded statement.
Evidence at the crash scene showed the fixed object was a tree in the parkway. A memorial was set near the tree, which had tire tracks leading to it.
A Crest Hill squad car was chasing the vehicle before the crash, Police Chief Ed Clark said.
The Crest Hill officer caught the driver speeding near the corner of Theodore Street and Edgerton Drive and pursued it with lights and sirens activated, Clark said.
Sam Mullin, a friend of Khloth, said he also was told the police were chasing the vehicle.
The police and another vehicle “were involved in a high speed chase,” Mullin said.
Khloth “got hit at a very high rate of speed and hit a tree,” he said.
“We also know that the SUV, which was stolen, went a block,” Mullin said. “It went over a block after he hit him. The SUV rolled.”
Two occupants fled the crashed vehicle, Clark said, and one was apprehended. Jeremiah Grubbs, 18, of Joliet was arrested and booked into the Will County jail.
Mullin was with Khloth and some other friends shortly before the crash.
“We were together at a friend’s house Saturday night,” Mullin said. “We left to pick up a friend. He left Plainfield.”
He said friends and family learned of Khloth’s death the next day.
The driver of the fleeing vehicle escaped after the crash, Mullin said he learned, but may have been taken into custody late Sunday or early Monday.
Khloth was a member of the area’s close-knit Cambodian community, Mullin said, and his death “has
disturbed the Cambodian community.”
“It’s just sad for the family” he said.