Police: 3-year-old killed by suspect leading officers on chase

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A police chase that ended with a toddler's death before Thanksgiving will change one family's life forever. (KTRK)

A suspect's attempt to get away from police ended with a family losing a 3-year-old child just before Thanksgiving.

Waterbury police say an officer in an unmarked car attempted to stop the driver of an Acura, but the suspect refused and tried to get away.

When the vehicles entered the intersection of South Main Street and East Liberty, the suspect ended up crashing into another car and then a group of four pedestrian on the sidewalk, WTNH-TV reports.

All four people were hurt by the fleeing suspect, including a three-year-old toddler, who died from serious injuries.

The driver, who was not injured, bailed out of the vehicle in an attempt to run, but was arrested a short distance from the crash, Trooper Kelly Grant said.

Investigators with Connecticut State Police say it is unclear why the officer was trying to stop the suspect, who is only described as an 18-year-old man.

Grant says investigators were shaken by the deadly aftermath of the crash.

"A couple of the troopers are over there, they just shake their head when they look at the scene," Grant said. "It affects everybody."

Grant said the vehicles in the chase were not traveling at a high rate of speed.

Back at the crash scene, stunned onlookers saw the frantic commotion as bystanders tried to pull debris off the toddler.

"When we came across the street, that's when we saw the babies. And everyone is just going crazy," eyewitness Kelli Smith said. "So we're trying to get the pole off the babies, and what we saw. It just wasn't good."

A mangled pink stroller was found at the scene, its wheels sticking up from the wreckage.

For Tommy Hedges, who lives close to the intersection, the decision to flee a police officer unquestionably cost this child's life, he said.

"If you see a cop behind ya, pull over. Why risk lives when you don't have to?" Hedges said.

The suspect is now in Waterbury jail awaiting a hearing with a judge.

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