Car being chased by police struck cruiser twice before fatal crash

2 teens died, 1 survived

vehicle had been stolen

March 09, 2002|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

In a police chase that ended Thursday in a fiery car crash and the deaths of two teen-agers, the car being pursued on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway twice struck a U.S. Park Police cruiser, authorities said yesterday.

A Park Police spokesman also said yesterday that the Dodge Neon, which was pursued for five miles, was reported stolen Wednesday evening to police in Washington.

Two 16-year-olds, thought to be from Washington, died in the crash near Route 32. A 17-year old passenger from Prince George's County survived.

Sgt. Scott Fear, a spokesman for the Park Police, said his office is are awaiting confirmation through dental records of the identities of the boy and girl killed in the crash.

He said yesterday that police would not release the name of the 17-year-old who survived the accident. Fear said that no charges have been filed against the boy.

Fear said the collisions caused minor damage to the cruiser but that he did not know where the police car was struck. He said it's not unusual for a driver being pursued by police to swerve in and out of lanes and collide with the cruiser.

"Sometimes suspects go back and forth to scare off the police officer," Fear said.

The pursuit began just after 3 a.m. near the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.

A Park Police officer had pulled the Dodge over for a license plate violation. As the officer approached the car, the driver sped off. Two other Park Police patrol cars joined the chase, pursuing the Dodge north on the parkway. North of Route 198 near Maryland City, the Dodge ran off the right side of the highway, hit a tree and burst into flames.

Experts in accident reconstruction are working to determine how fast the Dodge was traveling.

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