UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – Three teenagers who died last week after their vehicle smashed into a vacant University City home were fleeing from police in the moments leading up to the fatal crash.
New information from the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the University City Police Department also shows the crash occurred much earlier than previously reported.
Investigators said a 2016 Hyundai Accent was traveling at a high rate of speed on the morning of Sept. 6 when the driver failed to negotiate a sharp curve in the 1000 block of Groby Road in University City and crashed into a home.
The three teens, later identified as Deion Robinson, Johnnie Ursery, and Demetrius Ingram, were students at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. They were 15.
The crash was initially reported to have occurred sometime after sunrise, since police did not receive a call about the crash until 6:30 a.m. On the day of the crash, the state patrol said authorities would seek out and analyze any surveillance video in the area to better determine when the crash occurred.
On Sept. 11, investigators revised their timeline for the crash. It turns out that the crash occurred more than four hours earlier and that the Hyundai was attempting to evade a traffic stop prior to the crash.
A University City police officer on patrol observed the Hyundai speeding south in the 1000 block of North McKnight Road at 2:23 a.m. The officer attempted to get close to the Hyundai to get more information on the vehicle, but the driver began making evasive maneuvers to avoid police, including turning off the headlights.
The University City Police Department released a “detailed sequence of events” from that morning:
• 2:23:15 – While on routine patrol officer approaches area of 1000 McKnight.University City Police Department
• 2:23:17 – Officer observes the white Hyundai speeding traveling south on McKnight.
• 2:23:26 – Officer enters southbound McKnight as the Hyundai crests a hill.
• 2:23:27 – Officer temporarily loses sight of the Hyundai.
• 2:23:41 – The Hyundai is spotted at Old Bonhomme and McKnight while the officer is
200 ft behind at McKnight and Rowland.
• 2:23:43 – The Hyundai begins making a left turn from the right turn lane.
• 2:23:45 – The Hyundai completes the turn into the oncoming traffic lane.
• 2:23:50 – The Hyundai turns onto Chartres Ave.
• 2:23:56 – The Hyundai’s headlights are turned off. Due to the darkness of the area, the vehicle is barely visible.
• 2:24:02 – The Hyundai continues towards Laval.
• 2:24:15 – The Hyundai moves east on Old Bonhomme.
• 2:24:24 – The officer travels east on Old Bonhomme while the Hyundai continues without headlights and accelerates.
• 2:24:25 – The officer activates the patrol car’s emergency lights.
• 2:24:42 – The Hyundai was last spotted in the area of Groby and 81st Street.
• 2:24:52 to 2:24:57 – The officer begins to slow down and eventually deactivates the emergency lights, acknowledging the Sgt.’s instructions not to pursue further and communicates the last known location of the Hyundai.
• 2:25:34 – The officer reports being at Old Bonhomme and Groby as the recording ends, marking the end of the attempted traffic stop.
Investigators released dashcam video of the pursuing officer’s vehicle as well as surveillance video corroborating the actual time of the pursuit.