Cincinnati police say a reckless driver speeding through downtown is to blame for a deadly crash that killed a blind woman and a taxi cab driver.
Investigators said the driver, Mark Gerth, fled after a traffic stop and drove at high speeds into downtown then crashed into a taxi cab at 9th and Sycamore streets around 1 a.m.
Cincinnati police held a news conference on Wednesday where they released the names of the two people killed in the accident. Police also shared video from the pursuing officer's cruiser and a surveillance camera which captured the deadly crash.
The passenger was named Tanya Hairston. The 39-year-old woman was on her way to get on a train and travel back home to New York City. She was thrown from the cab and later died at the hospital.
The cab driver, 39-year-old Mohamed Sidi Ould Mohamed, of Cincinnati, was killed instantly.
Police followed a Toyota Rav 4 they suspected was suspicious around 1 a.m. from the East Clifton and Mount Auburn areas. Officers tried to stop the SUV around McMillan Avenue, when they discovered the car was stolen from Newport. At that point, according to police, the SUV took off at a high rate of speed heading for downtown.
Minutes later, with police several blocks behind, the SUV, which was traveling at about 70 mph, clipped one car at 8th Street then went airborne, striking the Tri-State Yellow Cab.
Police said they took Gerth into custody following a short foot chase south on Sycamore Street to St. Xavier Church.
Gerth is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of aggravated vehicular assault. More charges are expected. Officials will meet with the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office where they will discuss felony murder charges which carry a life in prison sentence.
Investigators are investigating to determine if drugs and alcohol were involved.
Police Chief Tom Streicher said his officers followed chase policy during the pursuit and stopped at all signs and lights.
"Our officers were operating in accord with our policies and our procedures. And that this is a pursuit that ended unfortunately with very tragic consequences," said Streicher.
Gerth was staying at the Drop Inn Center and was driving a car that was reported stolen back in November. He is being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.
The passenger in Gerth's vehicle will not face charges, because, according to Streicher, the two had met earlier in the evening. Police said the man even tried to get out of the vehicle during the pursuit.
Tags: caught on tape, dashcam, cruiser cam, raw video, high speed pursuit, chase, deadly, fatal, death, police, cops, trooper, cincinnait, ohio, wreck, taxi, cab
Marked as: approved
Views: 10699 | Comments: 18 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 2 | Shared: 32 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
|Liveleak on Facebook|