Woman killed, 2 others injured in Oak Park crash

Woman killed, 2 others injured in Oak Park crash

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Dodge Journey after the crash Dodge Journey after the crash
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WJBK) -

A woman is dead and two of her family members are hurt after a crash in Oak Park.

"She was like, 'I'm about to leave.' So I said, 'Oh, you moving out of Michigan or something?' She said, 'No, I'm about to leave this earth,'" James Carey explained. "I said, 'Sister, it can't be that bad."

It was a conversation that caught him off guard. Carey's 34-year-old neighbor was clearly suicidal. He tried to talk her down outside their Stratford Villa apartments, and then Oak Park police, who were aware of the situation, arrived.

"So she jumped in her truck. Police tried to open up the door, and another police officer came up and tried to block her in. She almost hit the police car, and then she drove up on the grass and left," Carey said.

Driving her silver Chevy Equinox, the troubled woman tried to lose police, who chased her down city side streets both at speeds close to 80 miles-per-hour. Police called it off.

"They were in pursuit with all their emergency equipment activated, so she kept going even after they shut it down," said Sgt. Paul Ditietro from Michigan State Police.

Witnesses say the woman was speeding southbound on Coolidge, blew a red light at Pearson and then t-boned a black Dodge Journey that had the right of way.

Meyaka Hemphill was right behind them.

"Had to be doing 70 miles per hour," she said. "You could see the side of the vehicle that was in front of me just mash into the driver's side, and it just started flipping and flipping and flipping."

Inside was a 40-year-old that was driving and her ten-year-old daughter, who was in the back seat. They received minor injuries, but the woman's 20-year-old niece, who was in the passenger seat, was killed on impact.

"I even stopped to see if maybe a police car was chasing this vehicle and it was not," Hemphill said. "I was not leaving that truck. I was trying to see how I could get them out, and I've been crying ever since, crying for them, crying their family."

Witnesses tried to help, but it took the jaws of life to free the family trapped inside. Sources told us although the woman was suicidal, she claimed she didn't intentionally cause the crash. Instead, she was running from police so she could take her life on her own.

Now she could spend the rest of her life behind bars. The 34-year-old suspect is in police custody and expected to be charged with fleeing and eluding police causing death.

"She wanted to leave this earth, but she took somebody else's life, and I think that's a real tragedy," Carey said.

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