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Mother, child seriously injured in a police chase-turned crash involving stolen vehicle

The incident happened in north St. Louis County. A woman and child in a nearby car were seriously injured and the suspect was arrested.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A carjacking turned police chase ended in a three-vehicle crash Friday morning on West Florissant Avenue in north St. Louis County. A mother and child who happened to be driving in the area were seriously injured.

St. Louis County Sgt. Tracy Panus spoke to reporters on the scene of the crash.

Panus said overnight a red Dodge Challenger was stolen somewhere in St. Louis during a carjacking. She said after the carjacking, county officers saw the vehicle but were not in a place where they could stop the driver. 

 At 8:46 a.m., police in north St. Louis County saw the stolen vehicle traveling northbound on Riverview Boulevard at Interstate 270 and recognized it was stolen.

Panus said officers tried to pull over the vehicle but the driver vehicle didn't comply. A chase ensued between the Dodge and officers. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle using spike strips, which didn't work. 

At 8:52 a.m., the Dodge came southbound through an intersection at West Florissant Avenue, when it hit a black Hyundai that was trying to make a left turn onto Hudson Drive, police said.

The Hyundai was forced into a utility pole as a result of the crash. The car then became engulfed in flames.

The occupants of the Hyundai, a mother and her 2-year-old son, were ejected from the vehicle in the crash, police said.

Panus said in the press conference both mother and child were taken to the hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries. No updates were given on either the mother or son's condition as of Friday afternoon.

Panus said after the impact with the Hyundai, the Dodge began to spin out on West Florissant Avenue when it hit a white Oldsmobile. That driver had minor injuries. 

The suspect driver in the red Dodge was not injured but was taken to a hospital per police department protocol. Panus said he was taken into custody and a gun was recovered from the vehicle. 

Panus said traditional pursuit protocol was followed during the chase.

Credit: KSDK
There was a heavy police presence on the scene.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell and St. Louis County police Chief Kenneth Gregory spoke at the scene. 

Bell said charges will be brought against the people responsible for the carjacking and the crash. The charges have not been announced as of Friday afternoon. 

Bell said there are initiatives underway to help bring awareness to carjackings around the county and put a stop to them. 

Bell said the county is asking residents to be vigilant and keep cars locked and not to keep weapons or valuables in cars. He also said the county is working with other departments on a task force in the area to "crack down" on car thefts and carjackings.

West Florissant Avenue was closed near Hudson Drive in Dellwood for several hours while an accident reconstruction team investigated what happened.

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