Two children were killed and nine people were injured Monday evening after a man driving a stolen police cruiser crashed at high speed into a SUV and a minivan in Dayton, Ohio, police said.
The suspect, Raymond Andrew Walters Jr., was driving 97 mph when he ran a red light and plowed into the two vehicles, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said at a press conference Tuesday.
Walters had been on active parole, and police suspect methamphetamine may have played a part in the incident, Biehl said.
The incident unfolded when Walters' father was trying to take his son to a hospital for mental health issues, but when the suspect realized where they were going, he began assaulting his father, Biehl said.
Suspect stole a police cruiser, police said
The suspect left his father bleeding from head and face wounds, and took off in his father's Chevy truck, Biehl said.
Walters crashed the truck into a tree in nearby Riverside, Dayton police said.
When a Riverside officer responding to a 911 call about the accident got out of his police cruiser to check on the driver, the suspect got in and took control of the cruiser from the passenger side, Biehl said.
The Riverside officer tased Walters twice, Biehl said, but that didn't stop the suspect from taking off in the cruiser.
Running the police lights and sirens, Walters reached a maximum speed of 101 mph, Biehl said. He was not being pursued by police at the time of the accident, the police chief said.
The Honda minivan was carrying seven children and one adult, all family members, Biehl said. There were three adults in the SUV, the police said.
Another child is badly hurt, police said
All occupants were taken to local hospitals and at least three of them were in life-threatening condition when they were transported, Lt. Eric Henderson said.
Two of the children later died, he said.
A third child remains in critical condition, Biehl said.
Two Riverside officers sustained minor injuries when the suspect struck their vehicle.
The suspect was injured in the crash and is in stable condition in a hospital, Biehl said.
The police cruiser broke into several parts when it hit the minivan, Biehl said. Still, "counterforce was necessary to take Walters into custody," according to a police presentation.
Walters' criminal history includes aggravated burglary and robbery, possession of drugs, domestic violence and assault, police said. He was released from prison in August.