One dead in weekend pursuit

A wrecked 2012 Chrysler four-door vehicle is shown Sunday on state Highway 56, south of Sasakwa. The driver of the car, a 15-year-old Ada boy whose name was not released, was killed when he crashed the car during a police pursuit.

An Ada resident led police on a chase early Monday morning that ended when the suspect crashed the vehicle they were driving, killing the driver and injuring the passenger.

The 15-year-old driver, whose name has been withheld, was eastbound on state Highway 56 in a 2012 Chrysler four-door vehicle, according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report. The driver went off the left side of the road, lost control and got back on the road before going off the right side.

The vehicle struck a fence and a utility pole and rolled approximately two times, ejecting the passenger about 23 feet from the spot where the vehicle rested.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the OHP report. The passenger, a 17-year-old Ada resident whose name was withheld, was airlifted to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where they were treated and released.

The report said the driver was apparently in normal condition, and unsafe speed had caused the wreck.

Police pursuit

The pursuit began at about 12:18 a.m. Monday, when Ada Police Sgt. Dewayne Campbell was patrolling in the 300 block of NE J.A. Richardson Loop, Campbell said in a report. Campbell saw a silver-colored car heading west without any working headlights, so he turned around and switched on his emergency lights to make a traffic stop.

“As I turned around and began to go westbound, I observed that the vehicle sped up and ran the red light at the intersection of Broadway Ave. and J.A. Richardson Loop,” Campbell wrote. “I then advised Central Dispatch that I had a vehicle that was refusing to stop for me and gave my location as passing Pruitt’s Grocery Store, westbound. I then activated my siren, along with my emergency lights, and gave chase to the vehicle.”

The car was still westbound on Richardson Loop without any working headlights when the driver took the northbound exit onto U.S. Highway 377. The pursuit continued until it reached the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, when the driver in the silver car turned on their headlights.

The driver was behaving so aggressively that Campbell reached a top speed of about 115 mph in order to keep the other vehicle in sight, Campbell wrote.

“At no time during the pursuit did I or any other officer involved in the pursuit push the vehicle to drive in the manner in which (they were) driving,” he wrote. “We only pursued the vehicle in order to keep it in sight. This led me to believe that the subject had committed some type of crime other than the traffic violation that I had attempted to stop the vehicle for at the time of initial contact.”

As the pursuit headed north on U.S. 377, the driver’s and Campbell’s speeds dropped to 95 mph. And as they approached the Pontotoc/Seminole County line, speeds dropped down to 90 mph.

At the start of the chase, Campbell asked Central Dispatch to contact the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office and the (Chickasaw Nation) Lighthorse Police to request their assistance. Units from those agencies, as well as additional units from the Ada Police Department, caught up with the pursuit as it neared the county line.

As the pursuit crossed over into Seminole County and approached the intersection of U.S. 377 and state Highway 56, the driver in the silver car turned right and headed east on SH 56 toward Sasakwa, Campbell wrote. The chase continued on SH 56, but speeds dropped and then rose again because the road had several sharp curves.

“Due to the road structure on this stretch of highway, I kept a safe distance between myself and the suspect vehicle,” Campbell wrote. “As we approached what I know now to be the intersection of Highway 56 and NS 3605, I lost sight of the suspect vehicle as it went around a curve.”

When Campbell rounded the curve, he could not see the other vehicle’s headlights or taillights, but he did see a cloud of debris in the air. He told Central Dispatch that the other vehicle had crashed and authorities were making contact with it.

“Upon approach, I could see that there was a subject that had been ejected out of the vehicle and that one subject was still inside the vehicle,” Campbell wrote. “Officer Chad Reid stayed on Highway 56 and covered the subject that was still inside the vehicle, as Officer Kyler Truett, Deputy Clinton Smee, Deputy Brett Edens and I crossed the barbwire fence off of NS 3605 and made contact with the ejected subject.”

Campbell said the person who was ejected from the vehicle was still alive and breathing but was not responsive. Authorities later learned that individual was listed as a runaway in the National Crime Information Center, an electronic clearinghouse of crime data.

Campbell and another officer went to the cab of the wrecked vehicle and discovered that the driver was dead.

Sasakwa Fire Rescue, Seminole EMS and other agencies later arrived on the scene, and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol was contacted to work the accident. Campbell said he remained on the scene and assisted authorities until a Highway Patrol trooper released him.

Stolen vehicle

Authorities later ran the tag on the silver-colored vehicle and discovered that it had been reported stolen on Sept. 7, Campbell wrote. But the vehicle had not been entered into NCIC because the owner could not provide a title or tag number, and authorities could not reach her after the reporting officer figured out the tag number.

Later on Sept. 7, the owner reported that her vehicle had been fond, but she was going to leave it where it was because there were no keys with it.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.

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