A woman was killed and two children and a deputy were injured Wednesday night when a pursuit of a robbery suspect ended in a collision, Texas authorities said.
The collision between the woman and a Harris County sheriff’s deputy led to other crashes, Assistant Houston Police Chief Chandra Hatcher said. Seven vehicles were involved in the incident, which occurred shortly before 11 p.m., she said.
Authorities have not identified the deputy or the woman who died.
Two children, believed to be ages 5 and 2, were in the vehicle with the woman, Hatcher said at a news conference in the city’s northeast side, near the site of the collision. The older child was listed in critical condition, she said. The younger child and the deputy were stable.
Hatcher said bystanders pulled the deputy from the cruiser.
“We are very thankful that the citizens out here immediately jumped into action to help keep the deputy as safe as possible,” she said.
Three other people reported minor injuries in the subsequent crashes, Hatcher said.
The chaos started when a deputy exited a freeway and saw someone leave a CVS store wearing a mask, police said. The person got into a vehicle matching the description of one from an earlier robbery at a gas station.
Hatcher said that the deputy tried to pull the vehicle over but that the person did not comply and the pursuit began.
She said she did not know how fast the deputy’s and the suspect’s vehicles were traveling before the crash.
“The deputy was driving eastbound pursuing the vehicle. He had his lights and sirens on,” Hatcher said. “As he entered the intersection, there was a collision with a black vehicle. At this point in time, we don’t know which vehicle was the striking vehicle. ... We have a total of seven vehicles that were involved in the crash.”
The driver fled, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
“I want to extend our condolences to the family of the deceased female. We are also praying for the full recovery of the two children that have been injured in this crash,” he said at the news conference.
Gonzalez repeated the sentiment Thursday on Twitter.
The incident prompted multiple investigations. Houston police will lead the investigation into the robberies and the deadly crash, officials said. The sheriff’s office will conduct an investigation, although officials didn’t elaborate into what. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office will also investigate, authorities said.