A 35-year-old man allegedly driving an SUV full of people shortly after midnight pointed an airsoft gun at a pedestrian and then fled police at a traffic stop before his vehicle struck another head-on, killing him and one of his six passengers in Worcester, Massachusetts, police said.
Worcester police say it all started when officers were called to the area of 97 Water Street around 12:15 a.m. for a report of an assault with a firearm. A man told police that he was walking with another person on Water Street when a Toyota Highlander drove past them and nearly struck them. One of the two men waved his arms to let the SUV driver know he was upset, when the driver allegedly stopped the SUV, opened his door and pointed what was believed to be a black handgun at the pedestrian who made the gesture.
Police say the man who called 911 got into his own vehicle and followed the Highlander, providing a description to dispatch as the SUV pulled over to the side of the road near the intersection of Grafton and County streets.
When officers arrived on Grafton Street, they saw the Highlander pulled over and conducted a felony stop. The driver was ordered to turn the vehicle off. At first, police say the driver complied. However things took a turn as the officers approached the vehicle and ordered the driver to get out. At that point, police allege the driver turned the vehicle back on and sped away on Grafton Street.
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Officers ran back to their cruisers but had lost sight of the vehicle. One officer who was in the area but not yet involved in the traffic stop drove past the other officers and saw taillights several hundred yards in front of him.
The officer saw a dark truck that had been involved in a crash in front of 1015 Grafton Street and continued driving up the road where he saw the Highlander in the roadway flipped upside down in front of the Roosevelt School.
Police say they assisted in freeing the seven people who were trapped inside the vehicle and provided medical aid. A 33-year-old woman was pronounced dead on scene, while the other six people were taken to a local hospital. The 35-year-old SUV driver, whose name has not been released, died at the hospital from his injuries.
The driver was identified as 35-year-old Jason Colon of Methuen, and the deceased passenger as 33-year-old Krystal Reyes of Haverhill.
Police did not provide an update on the condition of the other five people.
According to police, officers found a black airsoft gun inside the SUV that was designed to resemble a Glock 19 handgun.
A preliminary investigation reveals the SUV was speeding on Grafton Street when it struck a curb, losing control and crossing the double line where it hit a Dodge Ram that was traveling in the opposite direction. The SUV then struck a tree and flipped, at which point the passengers became trapped.
There was no word if anyone inside the Dodge Ram was injured in the collision.
The fatal crash remains under investigation.