Police chase ends in crash; three people in stolen car die
CLEVELAND (AP) -- A car reported stolen in June crashed into two utility poles and split in half after a police chase Friday. The force of the crash ejected the three people in the car, and all three died.
Police in Cleveland and the suburb Newburgh Heights, where the chase began, did not immediately identify the two men and a woman.
Newburgh Heights police Chief Mike McKeon said a patrolman began following the car about 2:40 p.m. when he noticed someone was driving it erratically. A second patrol car joined the pursuit.
McKeon said the car slowed, as if it were stopping, then suddenly sped away into Cleveland with the two patrol cars chasing. But he said that in order to end a potentially dangerous situation, the chase was called off at a hill near an International Steel Group plant.
"The supervisor ordered the pursuit shut down. The lights and sirens were off. Within seconds people were pointing, and the officers saw a cloud of dust about a quarter-mile down the road," he said.
Witnesses told the officers the driver lost control of the car at a curve in the road.
Cleveland police Lt. Wayne Drummond said two of the victims died at the scene, and the third died while in transport to a hospital.
Drummond said the car was reported stolen June 22.