A police chase that ends with a crash at an elementary school is a terrifying situation, but thankfully no bystanders were hurt in this Aug. 8 incident in Phoenix. Police ultimately arrested a 21-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl following the chase and resulting car accident. Charges were pending following the crash, but authorities said they suspected that the driver was impaired. The involvement of the girl was still being investigated.
Phoenix police originally responded to reports that a white Ford Mustang was speeding on Indian School Road near 35th Avenue. The pursuit began when two officers witnessed the speeding car running several red lights. When they attempted to get the driver to pull over, the driver instead turned into a nearby neighborhood. Police decided not to pursue the vehicle, but a third officer later witnessed the Mustang traveling the wrong way in the southbound lanes of 75th Avenue.
The situation escalated from there. Authorities said the Mustang struck the police car before heading into a nearby restaurant's parking lot. There, three officers attempted to contain the vehicle with their cars, but the driver slammed his Mustang into the police vehicles. He hit an open passenger door on one car and struck the leg of one officer. That officer drew his gun and fired several times at the Mustang, but no one was hit.
The Mustang's driver was able to navigate his vehicle out of the parking lot, but he lost control while speeding down Mitchell Drive, and the car tore through a metal fence at Starlight Park Elementary School, landing on its roof. Authorities said the driver sustained significant injuries, while the girl suffered minor injuries.
It's a good thing that the police were able to contain this situation without injuries to bystanders, but an investigation will have to determine whether the passenger was a willing participant in the incident. If not, it's critical that she receive legal representation regarding her injuries. The police officer may also require legal guidance in how to proceed regarding his injury.
Source: azfamily.com, "Wild ride ends when car crashes at elementary school," Andrew Michalscheck, Aug. 9, 2012
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