A 44-year-old woman is dead and four minors are under investigation after a police chase ended in a fatal crash Saturday night near Plant City.
Around 10:45 p.m. Saturday, Tampa police located a stolen black Nissan at 26th Street and Chelsea Avenue, according to a news release from the Tampa Police Department. The car was occupied by four boys who ranged in age from 12 to 15, and one of the boys was the driver, police said.
When police attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the Nissan’s driver fled with the car and a police chase ensued, according to the release. The driver drove eastbound on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard toward Plant City, and then southbound on Turkey Creek Road, where the Nissan rear-ended a Honda sedan, according to the release.
Police said the impact forced the Honda into a telephone pole.
The Honda’s three occupants were taken to a hospital, where one passenger, a 44-year-old woman, died from her injuries. A 24-year-old woman who was also in the Honda is in critical condition, while a 30-year-old male is stable, according to police.
Police said two of the four boys in the Nissan were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, and the crash remains under investigation.
The Tampa Bay region has a history of cars stolen by teenagers resulting in fatal accidents.
In 2016, three teenage girls died when they crashed a stolen car into a cemetery pond near Gandy Boulevard while being pursued by police. A Times investigation in 2017 found that Pinellas County teens were fueling a “car-theft epidemic” with dangerous consequences. Reporting from the time found that a kid in Pinellas County crashed a stolen car every four days.
That same year, three boys died in a stolen vehicle when they crashed in Palm Harbor. In 2019, a 26-year-old pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run involving a stolen vehicle in St. Petersburg.
And in two incidents two months apart in 2020, four teenagers were killed in a Tampa crash during a police pursuit of a stolen car, and a 19-year-old man was arrested for driving a stolen Mercedes that caused a fatal crash, killing a 27-year-old woman in St. Petersburg.
This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.