CRIME

Driver in high speed police chase crashes near Nats Park, escapes

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A high speed police chase from Virginia into D.C. at speeds exceeding 100 mph resulted in the fleeing driver crashing into three other cars near Nationals Park.

Virginia State Police say the drama unfolded around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. A trooper spotted a speeding car in the HOV lane on northbound I-395. He turned on his emergency lights and when the driver sped off, he began the pursuit.

Police say the car, driven by a woman, topped speeds of 100 mph heading into D.C. Suddenly, she exited off South Capital Street.

Stopped at a red light just outside Nationals Park was Marcella Stretch and two other drivers.

"I saw the blue police cars in my rear view and I heard the sirens so I tried to move over, but it wasn't that much room. Next thing I know I saw a red car coming up on me and I didn't know where that car was trying to go, but then the next thing I know, they rear-ended me," she says.

The speeding driver got away. Neighbors say it was an unusual sight.

D.C. Police have one of the strictest pursuit policies in the country.

There were no reported injuries, but neighbors are asking why Virginia State Police carried out the chase.

"That's crazy," says Articia Edwards of D.C. "Police should stop chasing people like that."

"If they're pursuing a suspect, they need to cut it off before something dangerous can happen," says Ronnie Gardner, also of D.C.

Virginia State Police say their trooper broke off the chase and notified police in D.C. According to a chase policy, a chase is a judgement call by the trooper. They consider the seriousness of the offense. There is a requirement to stop at the state line if the person they're chasing is not suspected of a felony.

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