PARMA, Ohio (WJW) — Dashboard and body-worn camera footage released Friday by the Parma Police Department shows a high-speed chase on a local highway and the aftermath of the wrong-way, head-on crash that came after, killing two people.
Parma police the evening of Aug. 26 had pursued the gold Honda Accord, after officers saw it hit another car then speed off onto Interstate 480, then onto state Route 176 North. The pursuing Parma officer eventually lost sight of the car, and ended the chase.
“He self-terminated the pursuit, so he more or less gave up, but he did continue on the path that he thought the car was going,” said Lt. Dan Ciryak.
While returning to the city, the officer found the Honda Accord engulfed in flames on the other side of the highway, having cut over the median and into the southbound lanes. It had been traveling the wrong way and struck an SUV head-on.
One man was trapped in the front passenger seat, unable to open the jammed door, according to a police report.
An officer’s body-worn camera shows officers were unable to put out the fire with handheld extinguishers. Firefighters eventually arrived with hoses. The responding officer is seen standing atop the burning wreckage, aiming water directly into the engine.
The trapped passenger, Jibriel Miguel Allen, 21, of Chardon, and the man believed to be the driver of the Honda Accord, Darnell James Prince, 23, of Burton, were both killed, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.
A 23-year-old man who was also in the car was able to talk with officers, but declined to talk about the crash.
Several lanes of the highway were shut down for hours.
The driver of the SUV, a 49-year-old Roaming Shores woman, was found breathing but unable to walk, according to the release.
Officers recovered a Glock 43 handgun from the suspects’ car.
Cleveland Police Department’s Accident Investigation Unit later arrived at the scene. It was determined the crash was not caused by the police pursuit, the report states.
“It’s hard to suggest that the officer’s actions made the individual drive any more reckless than he already had been,” said Lt. Ciryak.
It was the second deadly crash in a week in Cleveland that was preceded by a Parma police pursuit. Another happened the Thursday prior near the intersection of Woburn Avenue and Pearl Road.
Earlier this week, Cleveland City Council officials called for a dialogue about police pursuit policies of neighboring jurisdictions.