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Police: Driver was being pursued by cops prior to fatal Niagara Falls crash

Two police vehicles were pursuing a Buffalo man Wednesday when he crashed into a utility pole in Niagara Falls and died, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A check on the vehicle had revealed its owner was wanted on a rape charge. Authorities have not released the name of the 33-year-old driver nor said whether the man driving the 2001 Honda Accord was the vehicle's registered owner who had the outstanding rape warrant

A border patrol agent and a State Parks Police officer pursued the vehicle about 2.5 miles until the driver crashed near the intersection of Buffalo Avenue and 56th Street, the agency said in a news release.

The crash was reported at 4:19 p.m., Niagara Falls police previously said.

The chase started in the area near Rainbow Boulevard and Second Street after the border patrol agent conducted a records check on the vehicle and found the felony warrant, according to Border Protection officials.

"The agent felt the individual exhibited suspicious behavior which led to the vehicle registration check," according to an agency spokesman.

The agent called for assistance from State Parks Police, and when the parks officer arrived at about 4:15 p.m. and tried to identify the driver, the driver struck the park police vehicle and drove away, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The driver, who was heading east on Buffalo Avenue while fleeing police, struck a traffic signal support pole. City firefighters extricated him from the vehicle and he was taken to Erie County Medical Center where he died.

Falls police are continuing to investigate.

Buffalo man, 33, dead following crash in Niagara Falls

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