Local News

Fatal Chase Hit Speeds Of At Least 105 Mph, Report Says

Posted June 1, 2006

— A woman killed during a high-speed police chase Wednesday night was driving a stolen vehicle, according to the Raleigh Police Department.

Authorities were pursuing Alecyn E. Ross, 39, of Cary, when the car, going about 105 mph, crested a hill and hit a van, according to a police report released Thursday morning.

The car, a 2001 Mercury, hit two trees, then traveled another 44 feet and hit a utility pole, which was forced more than three feet into the car, the police report said.

Ross died as a result of injuries from the crash, police said. It was not immediately clear whether the van's driver, William R. Taber III, of Raleigh, was injured.

Cary police said Thursday that the vehicle had been reported stolen by Ross' parents earlier in the week and that a warrant was out for Ross' arrest.

The 15-mile chase started shortly before 7:45 p.m. when an officer noticed "potentially suspicious activity" related to a vehicle at the intersection of Freeman and Martin streets, Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said in a written statement.

When the officer went to investigate, the driver fled in the vehicle, and the officer began pursuit, following the vehicle south on Freeman Street to East Davie Street to Rock Quarry Road, according to the statement.

The pursuit continued on Interstate 440, where a second police officer began following the activity from a position behind the first officer, and on to Interstate 40 East, Sughrue said.

According to the statement, the officers continued following the vehicle to Jones Sausage Road to Garner Road, where they then directed to discontinued their pursuit.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol began pursuing the vehicle on Lake Wheeler Road until the wreck at the intersection of Tryon Road and Dover Farm Street, authorities said.

Ross had spent four months in prison earlier this year on forgery charges and was released on April 18. She also had a long criminal record dating back to 1993.

Sughrue said the incident is still under review to see whether all its policies were followed and that there is a very specific procedure outline for emergency pursuits, some of which include checking in with emergency communications frequently, monitoring the traffic flow and safety risk and evaluating the necessity of continuing the pursuit.

A 911 call released Thursday indicated the two officers checking in with police communications about every 15 to 30 seconds.

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