Deputy, bystander injured following crash during suspect pursuit

Posted at 6:37 AM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 19:15:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County deputies were involved in an early morning pursuit that resulted in a deputy crashing into an innocent bystander's car. 

The chase started near the intersection of Blue Ridge Boulevard and Stark Avenue around 1:30 a.m. when a deputy tried to stop a tan Buick for a traffic violation. 

On southbound I-435 near I-70, a deputy used their StarChase system to attach a GPS tracker to the suspect's vehicle.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said at that time, as department policy dictates, the deputies shut off their lights and sirens, and continued to follow the suspect using GPS.

Law states when a law enforcement vehicle turns its lights off, it must follow standard road laws, including stopping at red lights and driving the speed limit.

As the suspect continued east on 350 Highway, a deputy followed, but crashed into a blue Chevrolet Caprice at the intersection with Maple Drive in Raytown.

The deputy then crashed into a small tree and barrier fence in the parking lot of the Hy-Vee gas station. 

According to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, the deputy was "not chasing," but driving normally while tracking the suspect at the time of the crash. 

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said the bystander, the driver of the blue Caprice, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The deputy sustained minor injuries.

41 Action News spoke to the mother of the bystander’s girlfriend. She said the man, a father in his late 20s, has a broken spine and several injuries to his head. She also said he has had at least one surgery and is on a ventilator. 

The bystander's dog was also in the car with him and ran from the scene of the accident. His friend told 41 Action News around 11 a.m. that the dog was found and had minor injuries. 

Authorities found the suspect's car abandoned in Independence.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office tweeted just after 10 a.m. that they had the suspect in custody. According to Deputy Raashid Brown, the suspect was found at the scene of the accident. Deputies recognized him from a license picture. 

"They noticed a gentleman walking up the road who happened to fit the picture they obtained, and come to find out, that was the gentleman who was involved with the pursuit we initiated this morning," Deputy Brown said.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

The deputy's car was outfitted with a dash camera, and investigators plan to review the footage.

41 Action News obtained the pursuit policy for the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. The document lists several factors deputies should consider before initiating a chase, including the seriousness of the crime. In Wednesday morning's pursuit, the suspect allegedly committed a traffic violation.

However, the policy goes on to say each deputy must use his or her own judgment when it comes to deploying StarChase technology.

We're told the department discussed its policy in a meeting on Wednesday.

"Our captains did meet about it. All of our policies are something that comes into review quite frequently just to make sure we're within our guidelines," Deputy Raashid Brown explained.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated the deputy had broken both legs in the crash. Investigators at the scene disclosed the information to 41 Action News, but the Jackson County Sheriff's Office later stated the deputy only had minor injuries.