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Death of 20-year-old Lincoln man after pursuit crash was accidental, grand jury decides

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LINCOLN — A grand jury has ruled that the death of a 20-year-old Lincoln man who fled from a traffic stop in a residential area early Christmas morning was accidental.

The man, Ahmad Gregory, died after fleeing from the stop and running into a parked car at more than 55 mph.

Lincoln Police Officer Grant Powell, a crash reconstructionist, told the grand jury, which met in mid-March, that the incident began at about 12:50 a.m. Dec. 25 when a Nebraska State Patrol trooper tried to stop Gregory, who was driving a Mercedes sedan with no license plates near 27th and Vine Streets.

Powell said the car ended up having in-transit tags.

According to the grand jury transcript, investigators determined that Gregory was driving too fast when he hit dips in the road at 31st and Hitchcock Streets, causing him to lose control. He sideswiped a car, then struck a Honda Ridgeline essentially head-on.

Powell said Gregory was going at least 57 mph at impact.

Gregory, who wasn’t believed to be wearing a seat belt, was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died.

Powell said a baggie of marijuana, cash and a scale were found in the car.

At the hearing, a juror asked about the criteria for maintaining a high-speed pursuit in a residential area, particularly in stops that aren’t for felonies.

Powell said agencies have different policies regarding when and how long to pursue a vehicle and under what circumstances. Here, he said, there were no pedestrians or traffic visible in the trooper’s cruiser video. So the risk to the public was relatively low, he said.

The grand jury also determined that the deaths of five other people — all serving prison sentences — were from natural causes.

Lawrence Ortiz died Oct. 4 of vascular disease; Marvin Lovette died Nov. 1 as a result of cardiac arrest; Jason Frost died Nov. 5 of COVID-19 pneumonia; Atlee Mosemann died Nov. 18 of stomach cancer; and Kristopher Prigge died Jan. 2 of leukemia.

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