Police: Tragic crash not the result of high speed chase

    Philadelphia Police say the accident that killed four people after a car jumped a curb was caused by a suspect fleeing a robbery. But police officials say officers were not involved in a high-speed chase. The four people killed in Feltonville on Wednesday night included an infant two days short of her first birthday.

    Philadelphia Police say the accident that killed four people after a car jumped a curb was caused by a suspect fleeing a robbery. But police officials say officers were not involved in a high-speed chase. The four people killed in Feltonville on Wednesday night included an infant two days short of her first birthday.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090611tmchase.mp3]

    Commissioner Charles Ramsey says police were unable to pursue Donta Cradock after he drove away from an officer trying to apprehend him for allegedly stealing a motorcycle at gunpoint.

    Ramsey: When his presence became known, this individual got away by going up on the sidewalk to get away, the officer’s trapped in traffic, he could not begin to go after this individual.

    Philadelphia police have a restricted pursuit policy, which stops officers from engaging in a high speed chase unless the suspect is accused of a felony, or is a threat to the community.

    That policy is progressive, according to John Phillips. He became a pursuit expert after his sister was killed when a police chase ended badly in Florida. Phillips says police departments usually change their pursuit policies only after a tragedy, but officials say Philadelphia didn’t wait.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.