2 dead, 3 hurt when driver escaping police crashes into home on Chalmers
DETROIT (FOX 2) - A police chase ended in a violent crash killing two people and leaving three hospitalized in Detroit Tuesday.
Investigators say as soon as the car hit a house on Chalmers, it erupted in flames just before 3 p.m. leaving a shell of a car between Vernor and Kerchavel on the city's east side.
"Officers approached the vehicle, they tried to get the occupants of the vehicle out," said David LeValley, assistant police chief. "There was a lot of fire. They were using fire extinguishers, hoses, trying their best to get individuals out of the car."
Two people died instantly and another three were taken to the hospital. Police say this end was the result of an attempted traffic stop.
"There are a number of robberies that have occurred on the east side of Detroit and some of the east side suburbs over the last few weeks," LeValley said. "Our officers have been looking for the vehicle that was involved and the people involved in the robberies."
"I don't care about a string of armed robberies," said attorney James Galen. "None of these kids were charged in any armed robberies. That's probably just an excuse as to why they are pulling people over."
Galen is a family attorney for the driver who was killed. He says the driver was coming from Clintondale High School and that they had no involvement in the armed robberies.
Galen says for years he has represented the family of 18-year-old Antonio Henley, the driver of the car that crashed.
"I got called down here, it's not very good at all and I'm not happy," Galen said. "My client's family is not happy. This is horrible. We're talking about an 18-year-old young man."
Galen says this horrible tragedy could have been avoided.
"These high-speed chases have killed a lot of people," he said. "They've been doing it for a long time and I don't understand why the hell they would engage in something like that."
Police say the car collided with a Buick Rendezvous at Chalmers and Kerchavel, sending the vehicle into the house. Police maintain officers did everything they could to try and save everyone involved.
"Officers did a great job trying to get individuals out of the vehicle, tried to save them after the crash occurred," LeValley said. "Unfortunately the flames were too much. They weren't able to do it."
Police say the driver of the Rendezvous suffered a minor shoulder injury and is expected to recover.
There has been no word on the full extent of the injuries to the three other passengers who are in critical condition.
Meanwhile, the family who lives in the home that was severely damaged in the crash says they can no longer live there as it is strucurally unsafe, according to a GoFundMe account. They're taking donations if you'd like to help.