Police practice using the PIT Maneuver
A woman accused of felony shoplifting led police on a chase Friday from Auburn, Alabama, through Harris County and into Columbus, where she and two passengers were injured when a state trooper’s maneuver caused her to wreck on River Road, the trooper testified.
Kendra Crump of Columbus faced six charges in the chase and crash, including felony counts of serious injury by vehicle. The 25-year-old waived her Recorder’s Court appearance, so Judge Julius Hunter heard the Georgia state trooper’s testimony on Wednesday without her present.
Master Trooper B. Talley testified he was patrolling Interstate 185 in Harris County when he heard radio traffic about the chase involving a Pontiac G-6. He left the interstate to join the chase in Harris County, but was unable to catch up with the Pontiac on the winding roads.
Crump had reached speeds nearing 100 mph while fleeing from Auburn, he said.
Only an Alabama highway patrol officer was pursuing the Pontiac when he joined in about 5:30 p.m., he said. He was able to get ahead of Crump’s car at one point and deployed “stop strips” to puncture the Pontiac’s tires, but it didn’t work, he said.
Crump eventually turned south on Georgia 219, headed toward Columbus, with Talley right behind her, he said, adding she was weaving through traffic and at times traveling in the northbound lane, nearly causing head-on collisions.
In Columbus, where 219 becomes River Road and widens to three lanes, Talley had room for what’s called a “pursuit intervention technique” or PIT maneuver, using the front fender of his cruiser to bump the rear of the Pontiac on one side, causing it to spin out, he said.
Crump’s car rolled off the road, and two passengers who were not wearing seatbelts were ejected through the windshield, he said. Crump was trapped in the car afterward.
The chase ended about 6 p.m.
Authorities said Crump had a broken leg; one passenger had a broken shoulder; and the third had a spinal injury. All have been released from the hospital, said Talley, who did not identify the passengers.
He said the PIT maneuver was necessary because Crump’s reckless driving threatened the lives of other motorists.
Prosecutors said Crump has a previous charge of fleeing police.
Hunter sent the case to Superior Court, refusing to set a bond on Crump’s serious injury by vehicle charges, saying the chase showed she would take extreme measures to avoid law enforcement and might flee again.
“I’m concerned that this person is a risk to not show up in Superior Court,” he said.