BRIDGETON, MO (KTVI) - A child who was injured during a police chase near the airport has died.
Caleb Lee, 9, was injured after a stolen SUV crashed into his family's car at St. Louis Lambert-International Airport on April 25. His family had just returned to St. Louis from a trip to Disney World.
Authorities say the SUV sped away from Normandy police during a traffic stop. It had been stolen in a carjacking in St. Louis city.
Three juveniles were inside: a 16-year-old boy, 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. They suffered minor injuries and were taken into custody. The victims' family believes it was dangerous for police to chase the stolen SUV near the airport.
Police officers on scene recovered what appeared to be a handgun from the suspect vehicle. Further inspection by detectives determined the handgun was a replica.
All four occupants of the victim's vehicle were taken to the hospital after the crash. Two women in the front seat of the car struck by the stolen SUV were injured, one of them critically. The two children in the back seat were injured. One of the children just died after suffering from his injuries in the hospital for over a week.
Statement from the family:
Please cherish every moment with your loved ones.
We just returned from our first ever family vacation. My two nephews (Caleb-9 and Evan-5) were living life to the fullest and experiencing things for the first time. The first time they rode on a plane, first time they saw the ocean, and first time they went to Disney World. They were loving life. Then in just a blink of an eye our entire family’s lives were destroyed. We left the airport in two cars. Candice, Brittany, Evan, and Caleb were all in one car together. As they left the terminal pick-up, before even getting out of the airport, they were blind-sided by a stolen car involved in a high-speed police pursuit. Candice, Evan, and Brittany are all at the hospital with serious injuries. Caleb is in the Pediatric ICU in critical condition with extreme swelling on his brain. Our family asks for prayers for him to pull through.
As with most criminal offenses, there is no one to be held financially responsible. We ask for any donation possible to help with the family’s medical/accident expenses. Financial aftermath of this tragedy is the last thing our family is thinking about right now- but the expenses will continue to grow.
Thank you for thinking of our family during this time. Every prayer and donation is greatly appreciated.
A GoFundMe page has set-up to help the family.
Related stories: 3 arrested after bi-state police chase ends near airport