SAVANNAH, GA (March 30, 2012): Savannah-Chatham Metro Police are searching for the driver of an SUV that sped from a traffic stop and crashed into a crowded car, sending at least four people to a hospital Friday afternoon.
Two males jumped from the white Ford Explorer and ran, but the driver returned to the vehicle to take a baby from the back seat before running away again. The 17-year-old passenger was arrested nearby. The search continues for the other suspect.
The occupants of the other car, a man and his pregnant wife, a teen ager and children aged 4 and 1, were transported to Memorial University Medical Center with various levels of injuries but none that were considered life-threatening.
Downtown Precinct, Crime Suppression Unit, Major Accident Investigation Team and Forensics officers still are investigating the incident that began when a Neighborhood Task Force/Tactical Reaction and Prevention (NTF/TRAP) officer stopped the SUV on Scarborough Street for a traffic offense. As the officer excited his vehicle the SUV sped away.
Following SCMPD protocol, the officer did not pursue the vehicle and deliberately turned his blue lights and siren off and drove in another direction. But the SUV continued north on Scarborough at a high rate of speed until it ran a stop sign at West Bay and crashed into the side of an eastbound Dodge Intrepid.
The force of the collision caused the Dodge to spin in a circle, colliding with the front of a large U.S. Postal truck travelling west on Bay.
Police pursued both men on foot, losing sight of the driver with the baby but catching the passenger, Dominque Lawson, near Augusta Avenue where he was taken into custody after a brief struggle.
Lawson was found to be in possession of a firearm and was taken to the precinct office nearby on East Lathrop Avenue. He has been charged with obstruction by fleeing, carrying a weapon without a license, carrying a weapon under the age of 21, and carrying a concealed weapon. He was transported to Memorial for treatment of injuries from the accident and the struggle.
Bay Street was closed for several hours after the collision.
The mother of the baby that was taken from the SUV took the child back to the scene more than two hours later. Upon police recommendations, the mother took the child to the hospital for examination. The owner of the SUV has since reported it was stolen.
Investigations continue into the incident.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crimestoppers at (912) 234-2020 or text CRIMES (274637). In the body type, include “CStop2020” plus the tip. Tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.
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