Witness recalls moments after a high-speed chase ended in tragedy

Witness recalls moments after a high-speed chase ended in tragedy

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - One person is dead and another is in custody after a high-speed chase ended in a crash Friday in Marrero.

It happened after Jefferson Parish law enforcement got a hit on a vehicle stolen out of New Orleans.

“I have to look out my door every day and see this guy lying on the ground, dead,” said resident Vanessa Mackey.

It’s an image seared into Mackey’s memory: the moments after a police chase turned into a fatal traffic crash.

“A very short pursuit that obviously ended very tragically,” said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto.

It all started just before 2:30 p.m. Sheriff Lopinto said license plate recognition cameras identified a Prius stolen out of New Orleans two days ago. Westwego officers spotted the car and started to follow it.

“When the occupants of the vehicle obviously realize the Westwego Police were behind them, they took off in the vehicle and a short pursuit occurred here on 4th Street,” explained Lopinto. “It attempted to go around vehicles on 4th Street, lost control, crossing into the other lane of traffic where the other vehicle was coming the opposite direction.”

The Prius collided with a pickup truck, then a parked car.

“I heard a boom. I jumped up. I ran to the door, I looked out the door. I saw the police in the yard with their guns drawn. I backed my son up and I closed the door,” recalled Mackey.

Once she knew it was safe, Mackey, her son and his girlfriend came outside.

"We saw the guy on the ground, the suspect on the ground and the driver, they pulled him out of the vehicle and he was screaming and hollering," Mackey said.

The passenger died. The suspect was taken to the hospital, where he’s recovering from non-life threatening injuries.

Law enforcement has a message for perpetrators.

“Stop. You’re putting your life in danger, and you’re putting others in danger, and it makes no sense to get yourself killed over foolishness,” said Westwego Police Chief Dwayne Munch.

After what she experienced, Mackey has a message, too.

“Be safe, because it’s very dangerous out there,” she said.

The driver of the truck is okay. No word on the identities of the suspect or the passenger.

The suspect is facing possession of a stolen vehicle and a slew of traffic charges.

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