Man killed in head-on crash following high-speed chase near Lenoir

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — A driver who was apparently fleeing from law enforcement was killed Tuesday afternoon in a head-on crash in Caldwell County.

The collision happened around noon along Hartland Road near Celia Creek Road, just south of Lenoir. Officials told Channel 9 that police in Lenoir broke off the high-speed pursuit about a mile from the crash scene.

According to the Highway Patrol, a Honda Accord that was involved in the chase veered left of center and collided head-on with another car. The driver of the Honda, 42-year-old Falando Francis, was killed, troopers said.

Five people, including two young children, were in the other vehicle, but troopers said they were all wearing seatbelts and should be OK.

“I saw a baby out there and it scared me for the baby," said Leslie Coffey, a nearby neighbor. "So they took them to the hospital. I hope they’re all OK. We’ve been praying for them.”

Officers said they were chasing Francis after trying to pull him over for speeding.

The road was closed for more than two hours while troopers investigated.

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