Suspect In Fatal Tulsa Chase, Crash Has Long Criminal History
TULSA, Oklahoma - A 24-year-old man who police say led them on a chase through Tulsa early Wednesday, before crashing into and killing another driver has a long criminal history.
Jerry Newman has been arrested several times in Tulsa County for possession of a stolen vehicle. He was recently released from prison in February after being in for just under two years.
Before Wednesday, Newman was on probation for three separate offenses.
Newman pleaded guilty to numerous charges, including possession of a stolen vehicle, knowingly receiving, concealing stolen property and eluding an officer.
For Wednesday’s actions, Newman will face a laundry list of charges, likely including first-degree murder.
Newman looked blank and did not answer questions as officers brought him into the Tulsa Police Detective Division.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said before 6 a.m. Wednesday, Newman stole an ONG truck from a repair shop in Sapulpa. When police officers arrived, he took off, leading them on a chase through midtown to Tulsa International Airport, when he went through a gate and right onto the runway.
A trooper had to spin Newman out to keep him from running into a commercial jet preparing to take off.
Troopers said Newman kept going onto Highway 75. At one point, he even turned around and went the wrong way, that's when troopers said they backed off because it was too dangerous.
"You know, these pursuits, we recognize how dangerous they are. And they're fluid, and they change instantly," OHP Trooper Dwight Durant said.
A mile later, troopers said Newman hit another car head-on, killing the other driver, 23-year-old William Bruckman, instantly.
"And then comes out here on 75, and he hits somebody, some innocent person," Durant said.
Newman ran away from the crash and was caught on surveillance video from a nearby business.
Police tracked him down by pinging his cell phone and eventually found him at an east Tulsa home near 31st and Highway 169 where troopers arrested him.
Trooper Jason Holt said, "When they are running from the police, troopers, whoever it may be, they cause a death as a result of that, it will be, or can be, charged as first-degree murder."
Police also took two women into custody for questioning. They said it's possible they helped Newman by giving him a ride.
No word on whether they'll be arrested.
Bruckman was married with three children. He was on his way back to work at Containment Solutions when police said he was hit and killed.
In a statement, Containment Solutions said:
"William was a valued member of our company since June of 2016 and will be truly missed by everyone that knew him. Our hearts and prayers are with Mrs. Bruckman and her family."
Bruckman’s cousin set up a Go Fund Me for his family to pay for funeral expenses. You can donate here.
Jerry Newman is being held in the Tulsa County jail on complaints including first-degree murder, eluding, larceny, possession of a stolen vehicle, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and causing an accident which resulted in a death.