East Austin police chase ends in crash


by TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @TinaS_KVUE


Posted on October 7, 2013 at 7:36 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 7 at 10:01 AM

AUSTIN -- Two people are recovering from minor injuries after a police chase ends in a crash in East Austin.

Police say a car slammed into a pole at the intersection of Chicon and Cesar Chavez just after 5 a.m. Monday. The chase lasted for a few minutes, but officers say the driver led them to speeds over 80 mph.

The situation started about two miles away from the scene of the crash. That's where a clerk from the 7-11 convenience store on Oltorf Street called 911 to report that two people were shoplifting bottles of wine.

As officers made their way to the store, KVUE is told the car left and returned about 10 minutes later. That's when police caught up with the car and began following it.

Many times officers will decide not to chase for such a minor offense, but this case was different.

"The minor crime such as shoplifting a bottle of wine in and of itself wouldn't be enough to make that risk," APD Christopher Brewer said. "But we made the decision after he lost control of his vehicle and started driving in the grass in someone's yard that we needed to try and see if we could get him off the road."

Initial reports said the driver was ejected from the car. Police now say he may have just been trying to flee the scene at impact.

Both the driver and the passenger are in their 20s. They are recovering from minor injuries at University Medical Center Breckenridge.

The driver could face charges of theft, felony evading with a motor vehicle and DWI.

This was the second chase for police Monday morning. A man and woman were injured after running from police and crashing their car in North Austin.