Driver flees from Nuckolls County, dies in truck crash near Norton


A Florida man who died Saturday after crashing his truck while fleeing from police is earlier that day thought to have been in Nuckolls County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said a trooper tried to stop the 29-year-old man for erratic driving shortly after 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Instead of stopping, the patrol said Derek Stortzum of Brooksville, Florida, fled from the trooper.

The Highway Patrol used a patrol car to bump into Stortzum’s truck in an attempt to end the pursuit. Trooper Tod Hileman said Stortzum lost control of his truck and the vehicle crashed into the north ditch facing northeast on its wheels.

A Nuckolls County Sheriff’s Deputy is thought to have stopped the same individual on U.S. Highway 136 five miles north and four miles west of Superior about 8 a.m. Saturday. The driver fled from the traffic stop with the deputy in pursuit.

For safety reasons, the pursuit was terminated when it was observed the fleeing driver was driving erratically.

The truck, a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado, blew through Superior and continued south into Kansas. Kansas officers began pursuing the vehicle on U.S. 183 about 14 miles south of Phillipsburg, Kansas. Reports indicated the driver was still driving erratically.

The fatal accident happened about 14 miles south of Norton on U.S. Highway 283, about 2.5 hours after the driver was observed by a Nuckolls County officer.

An estimated 137 miles separates the location of the Nuckolls County stop and the accident location.


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