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Suicidal AWOL Airman from Tinker AFB dies in fiery crash in Okla.

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An Oklahoma father feared the worst and then watched it play out before his very eyes yesterday afternoon.

The father of Justin Phillips notified police that his son was absent without official leave (AWOL) from the Air Force and that he feared his son was suicidal. He also told them that Justin was behind the wheel of a vehicle. The father was in pursuit.

Law enforcement joined in the chase about 3 p.m., but it wasn’t long after, that the younger Phillips swerved his car head-on into a dump truck.

The police officer directly behind Justin didn’t anticipate the maneuver and hit the rear of the Airman’s car in a fiery, three-vehicle crash.

The officer, while injured is expected to be ok. Firefighters, who presumably had been alerted as well, are credited with saving the life of the dump truck driver.

Officials estimate that Justin was exceeding 75 mph and that the crash, which ended near 131st and Mingo Road in Bixby, was intentional.

Justin Ryan Philips, rank unknown, was just 20.

Examiner’s Note: Bixby, Okla., is located in both Tulsa and Wagoner Counties.

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