Driver dies after crashing into Memphis church

Driver dies after crashing into church
Published: Nov. 29, 2016 at 1:14 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2016 at 2:41 PM CST
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(Source: WMC Action News 5 Viewer)
(Source: WMC Action News 5 Viewer)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A man died after crashing his car into a church in Downtown Memphis around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Memphis Police Department said the crash happened near the intersection of Danny Thomas Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.

Ricco D. Beard, 28, veered his car into oncoming traffic, jumped the curb, and crashed into Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ. When it crashed, it severed a gas line and caught fire.

A woman who saw the accident happened said Beard drove passed her at speeds of approximately 60 MPH before he crashed.

"Jumped the curb. I said, 'Stop, stop, stop,'" Iris Knowles said.

Bobbye Fletcher, who has been a church member for 65 years, knows it could have been even worse.

"I am very thankful no one was in there [the church]," Fletcher said.

Beard was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition, but he later died as a result of his injuries.

MPD said Beard had an active warrant in Arkansas, but the details of the warrant are not available. MPD said the department with the warrant chose not to extradite Beard when he was in custody.

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