ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- An Asheville Police officer died after his police cruiser went off the Jeff Bowen Bridge Tuesday afternoon.

Asheville Police Chief William Anderson announced the death of officer Robert Bingaman at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Officials say Bingaman's cruiser landed nose-down, with the rear end leaning against a bridge piling, after his vehicle crashed off of the Jeff Bowen Bridge onto Riverside Drive.

Witnesses told WLOS was traveling at a high rate of speed, without lights and sirens, when his vehicle plunged off of the I-240 bridge.

Bingaman served the Asheville Police Department for six years.

North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck, and Chief Anderson says there would be no speculation on the circumstances surrounding the crash, since the investigation is in the early stages.

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