Two children were killed and three others were injured after a driver accelerated to more than 70 mph on a residential street in an attempt to flee from police. Wednesday evening’s chase, which police Chief James Craig said only lasted 75 seconds, also injured one adult.
Police began chasing a Chevrolet Camaro with an armed driver at 7:30 p.m. in an east side neighborhood, CBS Detroit reports. The car disappeared from view, but it struck the children and adult a few blocks ahead.
Craig said the officers were actually about to call off the chase when they saw a “plume of smoke, suggesting a collision… As they got closer, they saw children laying in the roadway.” He said the car was traveling at an “excess of 70 mph” when it crashed into a front porch of a home where several children were playing outside.
Craig called the incident “tragic.” “It’s a very difficult day,” Craig said. He added that the police force’s hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims and that his officers were “certainly struggling in the aftermath.”
All six victims were transported to St. John Hospital where a 3-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy were pronounced dead. Three others, ages 3, 5 and 7, were last reported as in critical condition. A 23-year-old woman was also transported to the hospital and was said to be in serious condition.
The two suspects, one with a handgun, were arrested. One had injuries that were not life-threatening.
The grandmother of the two children who were hit, 40-year-old Nicole Jackson, heard the crash and ran outside, Associated Press reports. Her fiancé, 43-year-old Ronald Antczak, ran outside with her and saw the children completely still in the street. He said that witnessing a child lifeless in the street is something “you can’t describe.”
Police and investigators were on the scene for hours, and a crowd of nearly 100 surrounded the investigators. According to Sgt. Cassandra Lewis, a police spokeswoman, and The Detroit News, an update is expected to be released later Thursday.