Suspect Killed In A Car Crash Following A Police Chase In Fort Smith

FORT SMITH (KFSM)-- A Van Buren man is dead after leading police on a high-speed chase through Fort Smith overnight.

According to police, 56-year-old Victor Sallee, of Van Buren, died in a crash at the intersection of Zero Street and Massard Road around 1:45 a.m. Friday (Mar. 2), after a chase.

Police said Sallee was driving through Fort Smith erratically and they tried to pull him over.  Once police were in pursuit, Sallee accelerated and began to swerve on-and-off the road, according to police.

During the pursuit, Sallee's car approached the intersection of Zero Street and Massard Road and hit a truck traveling westbound.  The truck attempted to swerve out of the way and avoid the collision, but Sallee's vehicle veered suddenly, colliding with the truck head-on, police said.

Lakia Dale and Hunter Cleveland were coming back from a work function when they were hit.

They were both taken to the hospital where they were treated and released.

“I realized he swerved into our lane and I panicked and tried to swerve out-of-the-way. He intentionally swerved and hit us.  I blacked out and I woke up to him being passed out and it scared me," Dale said of her passenger Hunter Cleveland. “He wouldn’t wake up and the cop opened the door and was checking on us and that’s when he woke up.

"I feel really bad because nobody deserves to die like that it was very disturbing and prayers go to the family for sure,” she said.

Police said they think alcohol was a factor in the pursuit and crash.

At least two Fort Smith Police officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.