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Published May 16, 2011

A police pursuit of a stolen pickup ended with a loud crash and twisted metal on First Avenue S Friday afternoon, police said.

The crash occurred just before 5 p.m. at 37th Street as a 2006 Nissan Frontier barreled through a red light as a police vehicle pursued. The pickup collided with a white Lincoln Town Car that was traveling on First Avenue, police said. The pickup went airborne and crashed into a utility pole, witnesses said.

Witnesses said a female driver stumbled out of the sedan shaking and in a daze. Police did not identify that driver, but said she was not seriously injured.

"Thank God she didn't die, man," said Tony Spencer of St. Petersburg, who was driving on First Avenue when the crash occurred. "It's crazy. If I was two minutes slower, he would have tore me up."

"They were hauling," said witness Bertram Morris of St. Petersburg. "I heard two booms, and then (the truck) just wrapped around that pole."

Two men in the pickup, Rashard Jordan, and Deondre Henderson, both 18, were taken to Bayfront Medical Center with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Police spokesman Mike Puetz said the pursuit began when a street crimes unit identified the truck as stolen near 47th Avenue N and 21st Street. Puetz said Jordan, who was driving, went the wrong way while speeding, twice tried to ram uniformed officers in another vehicle and ran a police vehicle off the road.

Jordan faces charges of aggravated assault on an officer, aggravated fleeing and eluding, possession of cocaine and auto theft, Puetz said.