A young Westminster driver may face serious criminal charges if he survives injuries he received in a Reisterstown Road accident. Baltimore County police said the suicidal man was pursued by authorities after the driver rammed a Chevrolet Traverse into a police car at an Owings Mill parking lot.
The chase was abandoned when a police commander determined speeding officers would endanger themselves and inadvertently could cause a motor vehicle accident. Officers continued to track the Traverse. Minutes later, the 20-year-old driver steered the Chevy into the path of a Toyota Corolla, killing the 74-year-old woman behind the wheel.
Carroll County sheriff’s deputies initially warned Baltimore County that a Chevy driver had plans of suicide by cop. The young man apparently threatened to die at the hands of officers after provoking them by committing a crime.
The Chevrolet kept moving after hitting the Toyota. The Traverse struck a van and a utility pole before coming to a stop. The van driver was not hurt. The elderly Corolla driver died at the scene. The fleeing Chevy driver was hospitalized with severe injuries.
Police in Baltimore County are withholding charges until investigations of the separate incidents are complete.
According to police reports, the driver was intent on suicide. The man’s catastrophic injuries or death could prevent authorities from learning whether killing an innocent victim was part of that plan.
Intent to harm would raise the severity of criminal charges. Crimes cannot be prosecuted unless a suspect lives, but civil complaints may be filed whether a defendant survives or dies. The families of wrongful death victims may file a claim for damages against an injured defendant or the estate of a negligent person.
Next of kin may receive an insurance settlement or jury award to cover the losses they experienced due to a loved one’s death. Personal injury lawyers advise families who seek compensation for emotional and financial hardships.