Suspect dead, baby hospitalized after police chase

December 13, 2010 3:02:44 AM PST
As authorities approached the wreckage of a car after a police chase Sunday morning, they weren't sure what to expect because the suspect was still inside. But the troopers found something unimaginable, a baby dangling upside down in a car seat. The baby was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital and is expected to be OK, but only after a very wild and scary ride that ended with a deadly crash.

The crushed car was barely visible to drivers passing by the scene on FM 1488 in Magnolia Sunday afternoon.

"When he tried to avoid the spikes, he started swerving, lost control; the tires were very worn on the vehicle," said Trooper Allen Williams of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

But as investigators learned more about what led up to the crash, a pretty amazing story was unfolding before their eyes.

"We did cut the car seat out to remove the baby out of the vehicle because the baby was crying," said Trooper Williams.

The driver of the car was killed, but a baby girl was hanging upside down, still strapped in her car seat.

Trooper Williams and Trooper Nicholas kicked out the windows and pulled out the 3-month-old girl before she was transported via LifeFlight to the hospital.

The crash was the result of a brief afternoon chase.

"It was not very long, maybe a little less than five minutes," Trooper Williams said.

Magnolia police had a description of a car possibly involved in a Harris County robbery. Detective Brian Clack spotted the white Chevy Impala and pulled the driver over. He was pulled out of the car, but a second man - a passenger - was still inside.

"Once I noticed the passenger was moving around quite a bit, I attempted to get him out of the passenger side of the vehicle. He had the doors locked where I couldn't get in," said Det. Clack.

That passenger, identified as 33-year-old Derick McMichael, became the new driver when he got behind the wheel of the car with the baby inside and took off. McMichael did not get far before he crashed and died at the scene.

Investigators believe the original driver they detained is the baby girl's father. While they are still trying to figure out the relationship of the two men, and their intentions, their priority at the scene was the cries coming from the crashed car.

"That was our most urgent, right there, the safety of the baby," Trooper Williams said.

The baby's father has been questioned and Harris County is working with Magnolia police to determine what kind of involvement he had with the deceased suspect.


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