ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Eyewitnesses are describing the moment a police chase ended in a fiery three-car crash, in which a mother and her toddler were ejected from one of the vehicles Friday morning in north St. Louis County.
Police said the incident began when officers spotted a stolen red Dodge Charger traveling northbound on Riverview at Interstate 270 at about 8:45 a.m. Friday.
Officers started chasing the vehicle and deployed stop strips to slow the car. They did not puncture the tires, and the car kept speeding away.
The Dodge Charger eventually hit a black Hyundai sedan near the intersection of West Florissant at Dargail Court in the Dellwood area. A woman and her 2-year-old son were ejected from the Hyundai.
Grant Ware, who lives nearby, said he witnessed the aftermath.
“I was actually cooking breakfast, and I heard a loud boom,” said Ware. “I saw a car on fire…and I saw what I thought was a small body on the right-hand side of the street. And there was a woman where policemen and somebody else was trying to put this fire out.”
Carlos Johnson, another eyewitness, said he used his shirt to help police put out the flames engulfing the woman’s body.
“I saw her get out of the car, and I saw the fire was still on her,” said Johnson. “And I ran over there to help. She was asking for her child. That’s all she was worried about at the time was her child.”
Police said the driver of the stolen Dodge Charger also hit a white Oldsmobile before coming to a stop. The driver of the Oldsmobile was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The mother and her son were rushed to a hospital to be treated for their severe injuries.
Images from our Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX helicopter show images of the woman’s car after it caught on fire.
“We are praying for the mom and the baby. We are hoping they come through. I am from this area and we see too many of these cars driving recklessly. In this case, we had some serious offenders,” said St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. “Those individuals involved in this carjacking will be held responsible.”
The driver of the Dodge Charger was arrested at the scene. Police said the vehicle was stolen during a carjacking Thursday night. A gun was found in the vehicle.