YORK, Neb. (AP and KMTV) — Authorities in southeastern Nebraska say a bystander who was killed along with the suspect and a police dog in the fiery crash of a stolen sheriff's vehicle was a popular teacher and coach from Hampton.
The bystander was identified by the York County Sheriff's Office as 31-year-old Kyle Ediger, a nine-year employee of Hampton Public Schools who was a math teacher and boys basketball coach.
Authorities say the crash happened Tuesday night when 43-year old Joseph Stoltenberg stole a sheriff's vehicle with the police dog, named Nitro, still inside and led authorities on a pursuit in rural York County.
The Office of the Sheriff in York County said that the suspect gained control of the patrol car during a "high-risk vehicle stop" following an eight-minute pursuit. When the suspect exited his vehicle, the sheriff's office says he told officers that he wanted to die and kept his hands concealed, claiming to have a gun. The suspect, say authorities, "advanced towards the officer" and then stole the vehicle.
Authorities say Stoltenberg then sped toward a moving train and crashed into the back of Ediger's vehicle that was stopped for the train. The crash killed Ediger, Stoltenberg and the police canine.