Police: Speed may have been factor in deadly early morning crash in Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Police in Kokomo are investigating the circumstances behind a fatal Thursday morning crash.

According to the Kokomo Police Department, the crash happened in the 700 block of Tomahawk Boulevard, which is near State Road 931 and State Road 26. Officers were dispatched around 3 a.m.

A vehicle hit a tree before catching fire. The driver, 43-year-old Robert Rose, was killed.

According to Kokomo police, Rose's red Dodge Stratus was heading east on Tomahawk Boulevard, crossed over into the westbound lanes, left the road and then hit the tree. Witnesses told police that a silver car was traveling with the Stratus just before the crash.

Witnesses also reported seeing the two cars on Algonquin Trail moments before the wreck. The Stratus was reportedly involved in a property damage crash in which the vehicle struck a small pole and a portion of a house. Both vehicles left the scene of the initial crash before ending up on Tomahawk.

One man said he saw the flames and tried to help, but the smoke was overpowering.

"I grabbed my flashlight, looked in the car. It was full of smoke, I couldn’t see nobody," he said.

Police said the Stratus sustained substantial damage to the front end and believe speed may have been a factor. An autopsy to determine Rose's cause of death is scheduled for Friday. Toxicology results are pending.

Kokomo police said the crash remains under investigation. They also said they're not ruling out reports of drag racing being the cause.

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