Crash after multistate police chase leaves Baltimore 3-year-old fighting for his life

A 3-year-old boy from Baltimore is fighting for his life, and his family members and police officers also were hurt in a crash after a multistate police chase Wednesday that ended in Philadelphia, according to police and the boy’s mother.

David Tillman, 3, suffered skull fractures, brain leaks and a spinal injury in the crash on Interstate 95 about 11 a.m. near Philadelphia International Airport, said his mother, Meghan Stone-Kirts. The boy is being treated at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s intensive care unit.

“It’s like a nightmare,” Stone-Kirts said. “I don’t know if my son’s going to make it. One minute he’s fine, the next minute he’s screaming.”

Stone-Kirts’ husband, William Kirts, had broken ribs and a skull fracture, her brother had a compression injury, and she had broken ribs, she said. Her daughter, Sophia Kirts, was the only one uninjured in their totaled 2008 Chrysler Sebring, Stone-Kirts said.

The family was headed to New York to celebrate Sophia’s birthday on Friday.

Police had been pursuing Dejuan Robinson, 20, a person of interest in multiple homicides in Wilmington, Del. He remains on the loose in Philadelphia, where police are on the lookout for him, according to a Philadelphia Police Department spokesman.

Wilmington police had chased the Acura that Robinson was driving from Delaware into Pennsylvania, at which point Pennsylvania State Police joined the pursuit, said Cpl. Danea Durham, a state police spokeswoman.

One of the Wilmington Police cars collided with one of the Pennsylvania State Police cars on I-95 North, and both struck the highway’s right barrier, causing the Wilmington Police car to roll over, Durham said. Pennsylvania State Police confirmed the Kirts’ car was involved in the crash, but could not say how.

Stone-Kirts said that Robinson’s vehicle knocked off the car’s mirror, but that police cars did the remainder of the damage.

A Pennsylvania state trooper suffered a moderate leg injury and two Wilmington police officers suffered minor injuries in the crash, according to their respective agencies.

When Stone-Kirts asked police who would help her pay for the medical bills and her totaled car, she says, she was told she would have to put in a claim to the suspect’s insurance company.

But Stone-Kirts blames police for chasing him, and, she said, putting her family in harm’s way.

“The cops are the ones that put my baby in the hospital,” she said. “They’re the ones causing my son to fight for his life.”

Pennsylvania State Police do not prohibit pursuits by policy, but a supervisor is required to call off the chase if they have safety concerns, Durham said.

Wilmington police did not respond to a request for comment. The news release about Robinson had been removed from the agency’s website as of Thursday and substituted with a link to a brief post referring all questions about the crash to Pennsylvania State Police and about the manhunt to Philadelphia police.

Stone-Kirts’ husband had been transferred to another hospital Thursday after being discharged from the first, she said. Her son was being put into a medically induced coma in the ICU Thursday afternoon, she said.

“He can talk and all; he’s just in a lot of pain,” she said. “They’re running tests to find the extent of spinal injury.”

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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