A Harris County, Texas, deputy pursuing a robbery suspect in his vehicle was involved in a collision with another vehicle Wednesday night that killed its driver and injured two child passengers, Houston police said.
The deputy was in pursuit in northeast Houston of a car suspected of being involved with an earlier armed robbery that had refused to pull over for a traffic stop, Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Chandra Hatcher said at a news conference.
The deputy had his vehicle’s lights and siren on as he approached an intersection, according to Hatcher, where he collided with a black vehicle. Authorities do not know which vehicle made initial impact with the other.
The woman driving the black vehicle was declared dead at the scene, Hatcher said. An approximately five-year-old child was transported to a hospital in critical condition and an approximately two-year-old child is in stable condition.
At one point, the deputy’s car caught fire and people inside a nearby store ran out to pull the deputy to safety, Hatcher said.
The deputy was transported to a hospital and is in stable condition, according to Hatcher.
A total of seven vehicles were involved in the crash, Hatcher said, and three other people were also transported to area hospitals with minor injuries. Authorities have not named the deputy nor those in the other vehicles.
“First and foremost, on behalf of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office I want to extend our condolences to the family of the deceased female and we are also praying for the full recovery of the two children that have been injured in this crash,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said at the news conference.
The suspect being pursued by the deputy fled the scene, Gonzalez said in a tweet.
Houston Police are leading the investigation into the crash, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and Harris County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating the collision, according to Hatcher. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Houston Police will work together on the robbery investigation, Gonzalez said at the news conference.