Police pursuit ends with man killed in crash
January 29, 2007 (GARY, Ind.) (WLS) -- A police pursuit ended Monday with the death of a man who had nothing to do with the chase. The man was killed in Gary when the car he was in was cut in half by another car that ran into it.
Cornell Yancey was just driving home when his Cadillac was T-boned with such force it was thrown into a traffic light, and then a tree, and it split in two. Yanceny, who turned 44 last month, was killed instantly.
Yancey's fiance Penny Paul came to the accident scene Monday evening with family and friends, none of whom can comprehend how quickly a life was ended.
"He was a sweet guy. He was so sweet. He gave me anything that I wanted," said Penny Paul, victim's fiancée.
Hobart police spotted the car that struck Yancey earlier in their town. They ran its plates and found it was stolen. But the two men in the PT Cruiser were not about to stop.
"Apparently, he tried to stop the vehicle in Hobart and in the course of the vehicle fleeing from him, he stayed in hot pursuit of the vehicle as it was traveling through the city of Gary," said Sgt. Anthony Ramirez, Lake County Sheriff's Dept.
The high speed pursuit by the Hobart officer went on for roughly five miles. He did radio Gary police to let them know what was happening, but it is unclear if a Gary police supervisor had enough time and information to judge whether to allow the pursuit to continue, especially since it was headed directly into a school zone at about the time school was being dismissed.
"If it entered a school zone at the time when the school was going to close then it is more than likely that it would have been terminated," said Lt. Samuel Roberts, Gary Police Dept.
The Hobart officer had reportedly lost sight of the PT cruiser several blocks before the accident and stopped his chase, but friends of Yancey say that didn't make much difference.
"Just a typical day driving down the street and now he's gone," said Penny.
As for the two men in the stolen car, one was arrested as he tried to escape from the accident scene. He remains hospitalized. The second managed to elude capture.
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