Pursuit of stolen Kia ends with 19-year-old driver dying after fleeing Southfield police

A police chase this week between Southfield Police and a stolen Kia ended in a fatal crash after the 19-year-old driver died from his injuries.

The Southfield Police chief said the tragedy didn't have to happen and was the sad result of poor decision-making. Between the moment that police flipped their emergency lights on to when the fleeing driver crashed, about 30 seconds had passed, chief Elvin Barren said.

"Just stop. Even if you find yourself in some trouble, you have a day in court and you can resolve it at that time," he said. "But the idea of fleeing puts yourself in danger, occupants of the vehicle in danger, and certainly the general public."

The pursuit happened Tuesday night just before 7:30 p.m. when a Southfield police officer identified the white sedan as stolen and activated their sirens. 

Rather than stop, the driver fled northbound on Evergreen from Westhaven. They lost control moments later when they swerved into a DTE substation just north of Eight Mile. Dashcam footage caught the pursuit.

The driver was later identified as Jarrell Dewand Newman II from Taylor. It's not clear if he was involved in the theft of the Kia, which was stolen on Feb. 5 in Detroit. Southfield police were notified when the car was picked up by a license plate reader in Southfield.

"If that vehicle crosses one of the license plate readers, it will give a notification to our dispatch center - the vehicle that we're looking for and the general area," Barren said during a press conference Thursday.

Also in the car were two 17-year-old girls. Barren said the individual in the front passenger seat is not cooperating. The teen that was in the backseat gave more comments to police.

"She made a statement that when she got into the vehicle, she was told the driver was an Uber driver. And then once the police made contact, it was disclosed at that time that the vehicle was stolen and then, per her, the driver began to drive erratically," Barren said.

The driver was traveling 40 mph when he crashed. 

It's possible he could have survived the impact if he had only hit the fence. But on the other side were metal pillars.


Video: Pickup truck loses control in snow, gets hit by plow on I-75

A dashcam video of a freeway crash released by the Oakland County Roads Commission shows the importance of taking it slow in the snow.