#parents | #teensvaping | 2 teens critically injured in crash after police end pursuit of speeding, erratic driver

KALAMAZOO, MI – Two Kalamazoo teens were critically injured Monday, Jan. 27, when the car they were in crashed into two other vehicles after narrowly avoiding other high-speed crashes, state police said.

The driver, an 18-year-old man, and a passenger, a 16-year-old girl, listed in critical condition, were among five injured in the crashes on King Highway.

The driver was speeding and driving erratically, police said.

Around 4:30 p.m., a state police trooper spotted the driver of a Chevrolet Impala cross the fog line on M-96 (King Highway) and began to follow the car. The trooper was behind the car when the driver sped up, crossed the center line to pass another vehicle, and nearly hit an eastbound truck head-on. The trooper turned on overhead lights to stop the vehicle for speeding and improper passing.

When the driver sped up, the trooper – following department policy – disengaged the pursuit, turned off overhead lights and slowed down. The other driver did not slow down and was seen running a stop light at King Highway and business I-94, nearly colliding with another vehicle.

The trooper was stopped at a red light and saw the suspect’s vehicle continue at a high speed before crashing into two eastbound vehicles about a quarter-mile west of the stop light.

The driver and teen passenger were critically injured while two passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

One of the other drivers, a 44-year-old Kalamazoo woman, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The other driver, a 31-year-old Charlotte man, was not hurt.

State police continue to investigate. Police suspect drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

State police were assisted by Kalamazoo County sheriff’s deputies and Kalamazoo police.

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