A man released on parole from prison two weeks ago stole a police SUV near Dayton, Ohio, and crashed into a minivan filled with children, killing two 6-year-old girls, police said Tuesday.
Ten others were injured, including five children and the suspect. One child remained in critical condition, police said.
Dayton’s police chief said that 32-year-old Raymond Walters was driving at nearly 100 mph (161 kph) in the stolen police cruiser through the city’s downtown Monday night when he ran a red light and hit two vehicles.
The family in the minivan had just stopped at a library and was leaving when Walters slammed into them, police said. Six of those inside the minivan were from the same family and the other child was a relative, police said.
A coroner identified the two who died as Eleanor McBride, of Huber Heights, and Penelope Jasko, of Dayton. They were cousins, the family’s priest told the Dayton Daily News.
It all started when Walters stabbed his father and then took off in his father’s pickup truck, said Police Chief Richard Biehl.
Walters’ father was driving him to a hospital to undergo a mental health evaluation and when he found out he attacked his father, Biehl said.
Soon after driving off, Walters crashed in the neighboring suburb of Riverside and then he jumped into a Riverside police SUV that had responded to the crash, police said.
The officer had not known about the stabbing and had no reason to suspect that Walters might try to flee, said Riverside Police Chief Frank Robinson. The officer had used a stun gun while trying to get Walters out of the cruiser, Robinson said.
Dashcam video showed Walters driving backwards in the stolen cruiser and ramming into another Riverside cruiser before driving away.
Police in Dayton were looking for Walters, but they were not chasing him when he crashed downtown, Biehl said.
The impact split the stolen cruiser into several large pieces.
Police will pursue murder charges against Walters, who was hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday, Beihl said. His father, who had wounds to the head, arms, face and chest, also was in stable condition.