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Painesville family questions area police chase protocol after East Cleveland high speed accident

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 23:09:15-04

PAINESVILLE, Ohio — Marvin and Mariah Williams of Painesville believe it's a miracle they and their two young children weren't hurt or killed, after they were hit by a speeding car trying to elude East Cleveland police.

It was a traumatic May 31 incident that left the family without a vehicle, and questioning police high speed chase protocol.

The East Cleveland police high speed chase was captured on police body cam video and depicted the aftermath of the three car accident at Euclid and Belvior Avenue.

Police arrested runaway driver, 38-year-old Gerald Devon Toney, and charged him with felony fleeing and alluding, reckless operation and driving without a license.

In the police video, officers confirmed speeds approached 85 miles per hour, before the crash took place.

“I can’t stop having nightmares about it, every time I close my eyes I keep envisioning are my children dead when I turn around,” Mariah Williams said.

"I think police have to examine more carefully when they should chase suspects and when they shouldn't."

“As for the reckless driver, I just hope that he gets what he deserves, because he almost took my entire family from me, just because of a stupid mistake he decided to make without thinking.”

Marvin Williams commended East Cleveland police and other emergency personnel at the scene of the accident, but agreed police chase protocol needs further examination.

“If people are exceeding the speed limit, maybe you should take different measures instead of chasing someone,” Marvin Williams said.

“My message to the driver, don’t take matters into your own hands."

When police have the lights on, and they’re pulling you over, just pull over, and abide by the law, just do the right thing.”

East Cleveland police confirm the high speed chase protocol used is also under investigation.

Police report the Williams' family had both their children in car seats when the crash took place.

“It’s very important for you and your children to be buckled in, because today or tomorrow isn’t promised, you could die any moment," Mariah Williams said.