ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – An innocent man died late Wednesday afternoon in a crash involving a driver who was attempting to evade St. Louis County police officers, who were attempting to stop the vehicle for suspected drug activity.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is handling the crash investigation because it happened just inside city limits.

County police were conducting a drug investigation shortly after 3 p.m. at the River City Casino parking lot when officers tried to make a traffic stop and the suspect fled in a vehicle.

A county police spokeswoman said officers immediately ceased their efforts to stop the vehicle and said they made no pursuit.

The driver leaving the parking lot crashed into an innocent driver less than a mile away at the intersection of River City Casino Boulevard and South Broadway.

Michael Bini watch the tragedy unfold.

“It was one of the horrific tragic accident I ever witness,” he said.

According to Bini, the suspect was speeding and, while he didn’t see police pursuing the vehicle, he could hear police sirens in the distance.

“From the time he hit the strips to the time he hit the intersection and broad-sided the pickup truck was less than a second,” he said.

Bini said the police threw spike strips out as the suspect vehicle approached.

The two people in the fleeing car, the 26-year-old driver and 33-year-old passenger, had to be cut out of their vehicle by rescuers. They remain hospitalized in critical condition. No charges have been filed as of yet.

The innocent driver’s identity has not been confirmed by police.