Passenger Dead after Police Pursue Fleeing Vehicle

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Jan. 29, 2010) - Maryland State Police continue their investigation into a fatal crash involving the driver of a pickup truck who sped away from troopers on a routine traffic stop.

The deceased is identified as Francis X. Chase, Jr., 33, of the 43000-block of Palamino Drive in Hollywood. Chase was a passenger in the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver is identified as Tyrone D. Butler, 39, of the 23000-block of Sugar Maple Court in California. He was flown by Maryland State Police helicopter to Prince George's County Shock Trauma with non-life-threatening injuries.

The preliminary investigation indicates that around 1:30 p.m. today, a trooper assigned to the Leonardtown Barracks stopped Butler, the driver of a white 1995 Dodge pickup truck for speeding on Mervell Dean Road in Hollywood. When asked, Butler was unable to provide proper identification, but did provide a name. The name given to the trooper was found to be of an individual with a suspended license. Subsequently, the trooper called for backup assistance to initiate the arrest of the driver.

Once backup arrived, both state troopers approached the vehicle. When asked to step out of the vehicle, Butler fled the scene initiating the pursuit on to Maryland Route 235. Butler led police on a 2.5 mile pursuit until Butler turned abruptly onto Vista Road and then into a private driveway, crashing into two trees where the vehicle came to rest.

Butler was apprehended as he exited the vehicle. Emergency personnel immediately rendered first aid at the scene. Butler was flown to Prince George's County Shock Trauma Center.

Troopers, along with paramedics from Advanced Life Support, attempted life saving measures on the passenger, Chase. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Maryland State Police CRASH Team is on the scene conducting the investigation. The Maryland State Police Aviation Command, Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department and Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department responded to the crash.

No charges have been placed at this time. Maryland State Police are consulting with the St. Mary's County State's Attorney as the investigation continues.

Source: MSP HQ, Pikesville

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