9 hurt in 4-car crash; Suspect sought after robbery is involved.
Byline: Kim Ring
LEOMINSTER -- Nine people were injured, three seriously, in a four-car accident Sunday involving a car that had been chased in Lancaster shortly before the crash. Lancaster police broke off pursuit of an alleged purse snatcher before the crash in neighboring Leominster.
According to scanner reports, a bystander began following the driver of a blue Toyota Scion after an alleged purse snatchin
g at Kimball Farm at 1543 Lunenburg Road, Lancaster. Police saw the vehicle as it turned onto Route 117 and began a pursuit, during which the Scion reached speeds of 100 miles per hour and went onto the wrong side of the road. The pursuit ended when officers lost sight of the car near Walmart, which is off Jungle Road.
An officer was heard on the scanner telling a dispatcher, "We shut down. We lost visual on him.''
Another officer responded, "Good judgment call.''
A few minutes later, a Leominster police officer could be heard reporting the accident and calling for help, telling a dispatcher there were multiple vehicles involved, "bodies in the roadway,'' and asking her to "send everybody.''
After hearing the report of the crash, which occurred about 3:45 p.m. near 590 Lancaster St. (Route 117), from a dispatcher who said it was caused by the pursuit, a Lancaster officer said, "Clarify that was not due to the pursuit; these officers had backed down. It was due to his driving.''
Leominster Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Kirouac said one of those hurt in the crash sustained a serious and possibly life-threatening head injury. Two others were seriously hurt and six suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Six people were taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center -- University Campus in Worcester and three were taken to HealthAlliance Hospital -- Leominster.
Five ambulances, including two from the Leominster Fire Department, responded. Firefighters also brought three engines, a ladder truck and the heavy rescue vehicle.
Leominster police said the investigation is being done by detectives from Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. A spokesman for the district attorney said Sunday night that no information was available.
Contact Kim Ring at firstname.lastname@example.org.