Chase called off seconds before fatal crash

Posted at 11:47 AM, Apr 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-11 04:48:28-04

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton confirmed that the fatal wreck on Noble Road Saturday started when a traffic stop was initiated near the intersection of Hayden and Woodworth Avenue.

The suspect vehicle fled the traffic stop and officers pursued after the vehicle officials said. 

Officials said the driver of the police cruiser called off the pursuit.

"Speeds reached 60 miles an hour on typical city streets with is a very dangerous situation," said Gary Norton, mayor of East Cleveland.

Norton added that the pursuit lasted for only 20 seconds. The crash happened 12 seconds after the chase ended when the suspect vehicle continued. The suspect struck another vehicle head on officials said.

"The car came right past me on the wrong side of the street," said William Kennedy, a witness to the chase. "That could have happened to us."

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office identified 56-year-old Hollis Daryl Crump as the victim in the car that was struck. 

Crump was pronounced dead on scene.

The suspect, 23-year-old James Smith Jr. was taken to University Hospital where he died of his injuries Sunday.

Smith was driving with a suspended license and may have had a warrant out of Shaker officials said.

Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating.