The escape of a German from a day release program from prison sparked a cross-border manhunt that ended hours later in a fatal accident in neighboring France, police said on Wednesday .
The 28-year-old fugitive hijacked a car at gunpoint in Mannheim, 300km southwest of Berlin, on Monday, forcing the driver off onto a motorway before leaving it at a rest area.
The man later caused a multi-vehicle accident, continuing his escape by hijacking a second car belonging to a man who had stopped to offer help.
The fugitive then crossed the border into France where he was involved in a head-on collision near the city of Nancy and died, police said.
The inmate was in an open-air prison and was free for a day when he escaped, officials said.
Police could not immediately say how the man obtained a gun or how much time he had left to serve.