It is not clear from a story by WTAE-TV why the chase began, but it appears to have begun in Brentwood and ended in Pittsburgh the morning of Dec. 15. The suspect crashed into two other cars and all three drivers were taken to the hospital.
One of the drivers suffered broken bones and was in serious condition. The other motorist suffered minor injuries from the impact with his air bag. The suspect was in critical condition.
A Pittsburgh police lieutenant said that no Pittsburgh officers were involved with the chase, though they were aware of through radio communication. Local police and other first responders assisted after the crash. As we discussed back on Dec. 1, a police chase involving Pittsburgh officers pursuing a suspect in November similarly ended in a serious crash. Five people were injured, including a 12-year-old girl.
Following that incident, Police Chief Cameron McLay announced a moratorium on high-speed pursuits, except when officers believe a violent felony is happening or has occurred.
The decision whether or not to engage in a high-speed pursuit must be made in seconds, yet police must follow procedure. The need to arrest someone must be balanced with the officer’s duty not to harm bystanders.