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Southport officer was driving 100 mph at time of deadly crash

Updated: Mar. 30, 2017 at 9:00 AM EDT
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SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) - An off-duty Southport police officer was driving an estimated 100 mph in a 55-mph zone when he crashed his patrol car, killing him, a State Highway Patrol report released Thursday reveals.

Officer Jason Freeman, 29, was driving on Stone Chimney Road at around 5:20 a.m. on March 12 when he ran off the road to the right and hit a ditch, causing his vehicle to overturn. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The report indicates alcohol is suspected in the crash, but no impairment was detected. Results of a toxicology test are pending. The wreck caused an estimated $25,000 in damage to Freeman's patrol vehicle.

It is unclear why Freeman was driving his patrol vehicle while off duty. Southport Police Chief Gary Smith said it is against policy to drive a patrol vehicle off duty, and that Freeman's last shift with the department was March 9.

Freeman had been with the Southport Police Department for less than a year, and left behind a wife and two small children.

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