Pedestrian killed, another injured by stolen SUV being chased by police | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pedestrian killed, another injured by stolen SUV being chased by police

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 8:51 AM

AT ACCIDENT SCENE: Investigators at work last night. - LRPD
  • LRPD
  • AT ACCIDENT SCENE: Investigators at work last night.

Little Rock police say a female pedestrian
was killed and another injured on Chicot Road last night when struck by an SUV being chased by police. The SUV was believed to have been stolen. The driver of the SUV was hospitalized and a woman in the vehicle was taken into custody.

Police haven't yet released names of the victims, the persons in the SUV or the officer who gave chase, beginning on Baseline Road.

KARK noted last night a USA TODAY report on the toll of people killed in police chases. The Little Rock police have guidelines on engaging in pursuit on city streets. It likely will be reviewed in the review of last night's chase.

UPDATE: 

Trindia Horton, 39, was killed in the wreck. Nathan Horton was injured. She's in stable condition, police said.

The driver of the SUV has been identified as Jordan Vandenberghe, 24. He's been released from the hospital and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree battery, felony theft, felony theft by receiving and felony fleeing

UPDATE II: Police Chief Kenton Buckner held a news conference about the crash. He identified Zachary Hardman, an officer since 2012, as the patrolman in pursuit. He said Hardman had been a "good employee." The chief distributed the department policy on pursuits and told reporters the department's investigation would review whether the right things were done.
click to enlarge ZACHARY HARDMAN
  • ZACHARY HARDMAN

During today's press conference, Buckner deflected several questions by saying that the investigation was ongoing, including the speeds reached and the duration of the chase, but said that there is dashcam video from Hardman's marked patrol unit which shows what he called the "horrific incident." Buckner said that footage will be released to the public in coming days, but the department would give the Horton family the opportunity to view the footage before it is released. He said there was no definitive timetable on the release of the video. Buckner would not confirm or deny that there was another police vehicle involved in the chase. 

Buckner said an accident reconstruction team will investigate the crash. "I want to make sure we're thorough," he said. "I want to make sure we do the right thing."

After answering several questions by saying that information will be released at the appropriate time, Buckner said that he understands the small amount of information he was able to provide at the press conference is frustrating. Then he added: "Understand that two years from now, I'll be on the witness stand in civil court or criminal court for a case or something, so I want to make sure this investigation is protected going forward."  

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