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Man carjacks USPS truck and leads deputies on chase, epic crash after he runs over stop sticks

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Tony Holt
The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.

A carjacking suspect in a mail truck was captured Saturday after he tried to ram two Flagler County deputies along Interstate 95 during a pursuit, authorities said.

Jesse Estep, 29, was apprehended after he swerved off the road and crashed near a woodline about two miles north of the Old Dixie Highway exit, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Estep was fleeing Ormond Beach police when he drove into Flagler County, authorities said. A pair of Flagler deputies were laying down stop sticks to end the chase. As they were doing that, the suspect tried to mow them down and missed, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“This is another great example of our agencies working together,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “The suspect immediately told deputies that he was high on (methamphetamine) and cocaine. It is a miracle that no deputies, police officers or other travelers on the highway were hurt during the reckless driving of this suspect.”

Estep was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and one count each of grand theft auto, burglary, aggravated fleeing with injury or damage and unlawful possession of personal identification of another person. He was brought to a local hospital before being booked at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility. He is being held without bail.

Deputies said Estep stole the truck out of Holly Hill and led police on a chase after entering Ormond Beach.

The chase in Flagler began around 4:33 p.m. when a deputy responded to the area of mile-marker 280. Volusia County authorities notified Flagler of the carjacking suspect traveling in a U.S. Postal Service truck.

The first deputy who laid down the stop sticks was on the median, according to an arrest report. That deputy, Bryan Carter, took cover behind a guardrail to avoid being struck. A second deputy, Crista Rainey, was laying down stop sticks down the road along the right lane and the truck nearly struck her, too, the report stated.

It was after Estep tried to run over Rainey that he lost control of the vehicle, which flipped over and came to a stop near the woods, deputies said.

After he was apprehended, Estep told authorities he wanted to kill himself and had a “large laceration” to his left arm and right palm, the report stated.

Estep also faces federal charges for stealing a mail truck, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

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