Driver shoots self during WSP chase at Bellingham

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) -- The Washington State Patrol is investigating why a speeding driver who was being chased shot and killed himself in Bellingham.

Trooper Keith Leary says the man was driving a van at nearly 100 miles per hour about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday on Interstate 5 when the trooper tried to pull him over.

The driver took an exit and shot himself in the chest with a handgun at an intersection in Bellingham. He died at the scene.

Leary says the 33-year-old Sammamish man was driving with a suspended license and had a liquor bottle in the front seat.

A fleeing van near the Canadian border raises the question of possible drug smuggling, but Leary says there was no visible evidence of a large amount of drugs in the van.