A man and a woman were killed and another woman was injured early Friday morning after fleeing from police and crashing into a light pole on Columbus' Northwest Side.
The vehicle they were in ― a lime-colored SUV ― was pulled over by a Hilliard police officer in the area of 3600 Fishinger Road, near Park Mill Run Drive, shortly before 3 a.m. for a traffic violation, Columbus Police Sgt. Joe Albert said in a statement.
Dashcam footage released Friday morning by the Hilliard Division of Police shows the SUV speed off about 20 seconds after being pulled over. The officer then begins to follow the vehicle at a distance instead of chasing it.
"The officer continued driving eastbound at a top speed of 40 mph, keeping a distance from the vehicle," Hilliard police said in a news release.
Not a minute later the officer comes upon a downed light pole and the SUV can be seen further up the road, its emergency lights flashing. The officer quickly exited his cruiser and went over to an occupant of the crashed SUV lying in the grass median.
"Hilliard police department, can you hear me?" he said several times.
Albert said in his statement that a woman was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash at 3:23 a.m., while a man was pronounced deceased at 4:21 a.m. after being transported to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Another woman was transported to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in critical condition. Her condition on Friday afternoon had been upgraded to stable.
As of Friday afternoon, Columbus police had not identified the crash victims.
Hilliard police also are investigating whether the occupants of the SUV were connected to a break-in at a gas station convenience store on the same morning of the fatal crash.
At 2:56 a.m., a different Hilliard police officer responded to Certified Gas Station, 4656 Cemetery Road, for a report that the station's burglary alarm had been activated. The officer found the glass door of the station's convenience store had been shattered and several cartons of cigarettes were missing.
Hilliard police said in their news release that cartons of cigarettes were found inside the SUV that fled from their officer.
"The Hilliard Division of Police continues to investigate the breaking and entering, and the connection between the two incidents," the release said. "At this time, no charges have been filed."
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Two people killed in crash after fleeing from Columbus traffic stop