NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A police chase followed by a crash and then a suicide leaves three people dead, including a toddler. The crash happened Wednesday afternoon on Chef Menteur Highway near Lonely Oak Drive.
Louisiana State Police say a man and a two year old little girl died after they were ejected from the car that troopers were trying to stop. The driver then took his own life.
"Two people were ejected because of the crash. One of them was a 2 year old. Both are deceased. The 2 year old was not in a proper child restraint nor was the child properly restrained inside the restraint. The passenger was also ejected because of a lack of seat belt usage. There was a suicide after involving one of the occupants that, NOPD is investigating that aspect of it," said State Police Trooper Melissa Matey.
State Police say it all started when troopers spotted a stolen license plate on the car at Canal and Rampart streets.
"Prior to turning on or even activating the lights, they attempted to box this car in to prevent a pursuit from happening. Once they boxed in this vehicle, he backed up, went around trooper units and evaded any type of traffic stop. He ended up going down Canal Street, turned onto Claiborne, turned onto the interstate and he exited here at Chef," said Matey.
We're told several troopers were chasing the car. Once on Chef Highway, the driver hit a truck and lost control of the car. State Police say their SUV never made contact with the car.
"As he came down Chef, there was a box truck in the right hand lane, that was attempting to make a right hand turn. The front right portion of the vehicle struck the back of the box truck and at that point the car was out of control. Driver lost control of the car, and of course you can see behind me he veered off the roadway and into a fence," said Matey.
The little girl and the two men have not yet been identified.
State Police say they can't say yet how fast the cars were going in the chase, as that is still under investigation. We're told none of the troopers involved was hurt.