Police helicopter footage of a crash in Northwest Baltimore. Credit: Baltimore Police Department via source
Accident investigators are probing a multivehicle crash that occurred Saturday in Northwest Baltimore during a police pursuit of a stolen vehicle, police officials confirmed to The Baltimore Sun, which obtained video of the previously undisclosed incident.
Two people are in critical condition, including the driver of the stolen vehicle and a man in a second vehicle that was struck.
The footage, recorded from the police helicopter unit, shows the driver of the stolen car travelling at a high speed along Liberty Heights Avenue, with at least one car appearing to keep pace several car lengths behind.
Though the vehicle, and a second that also pulls up to the crash within seconds, appear to be police units, the Police Department said it could not confirm until the completion of the investigation.
“The incident is being reviewed by the Accident Investigation Unit,” chief spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge said. “At the conclusion of their investigation, they will turn the findings over to the Public Integrity Bureau, who will then determine if any policies were violated.”
Baltimore Police policies on chasing fleeing suspects prohibit a pursuit for a stolen vehicle, but say that they may give chase if there “exists probable cause to believe the fleeing suspect committed a felony which resulted, or could have resulted, in death or serious bodily injury.”
Officers are also supposed to weigh the danger to the community, the likelihood of being able to apprehend the person at a later time, and the availability of air support.
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Police said a woman was behind the wheel of what was reported to be a stolen car, and that police attempted to stop her by boxing in the vehicle at a gas station in the 2600 block of W. Patapsco Ave. in the Southern District. A police spokesman said she struck a police cruiser and fled.
The helicopter unit continued to follow the vehicle up to Northwest Baltimore, the spokesman said. The fleeing car can be seen on the video striking one vehicle and then a second as it crosses Callaway Avenue.
Police spokesman Donny Moses said the female driver was listed in critical condition as of the most recent condition check. Police have not announced any charges against the driver. It was not clear what charges the driver is facing.