One man is dead and another hospitalized after the car they were in flipped and crashed during a high-speed police pursuit outside the East Texas town of Bullard Saturday night. Christopher Blake Lucas, 26, becomes the 18th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
The spike strips popped three of the car's tires, but it kept going, then failed to negotiate a turn and flipped. Lucas, the driver, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officials said four pounds of marijuana were found in the car. The injured passenger will be charged with possession of marijuana and evading arrest once he is released from the hospital, DPS said Monday.
[Editor's Note: This one is a judgment call for inclusion in our list. Although police said it was "a routine traffic stop," there are several reasons to consider it a drug war death. First, "routine traffic stops" are often pretexts for drug law enforcement efforts. Second, even "routine traffic stops" can quickly turn into drug law enforcement efforts. Third, and mainly it is probably safe to presume this guy was running because he had four pounds of pot in his vehicle, not because he didn't want to get a speeding ticket.]