ELYRIA — A driver who fled from an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper Monday hit speeds of more than 90 mph before crashing into a landscaping wall outside Elyria Police Department.
Additional details were released Friday regarding the chase that began in the early morning hours near Lake and Morgan avenues. It ended with driver Elijah Nixon, 18, and juvenile passengers Rachel Canter, 15, and Nathan Worthy, 16, being taken to a hospital after their vehicle crashed where Lake and West avenues meet.
According to Lt. Carlos Smith, commander of the patrol’s Elyria post, one of the teens took the vehicle from their mother without her permission.
“The mom was home sleeping,” Smith said.
Trooper Rickie Sartin was following the 2006 Chevrolet HHR on Lake Avenue at 3:09 a.m. when the vehicle began to speed off near Morgan Avenue after about a minute of being followed.
Dash camera footage shows Nixon going left-of-center to pass a car and Sartin activating his vehicle’s emergency lights at Lake Avenue and Oak Street. Nixon then runs a red light at the railroad tracks at Foster and Lake avenues, according to the footage.
Nixon pulls over at Lake and Dewey avenues near St. Agnes Catholic Church at 3:11 a.m. but 30 seconds later — as Sartin starts to walk toward the vehicle — Nixon speeds off.
Nixon travels down Lake Avenue, including on the wrong side of the road for a stretch, and about 48 seconds after being pulled over, the vehicle crashes into the wall outside of the police station and rolls onto its side at 3:12 a.m.
One of the passengers was ejected from the vehicle. On the video, the victim can be seen lying in the road near the vehicle and Elyria police officers begin to gather around the vehicle. At 3:13 a.m., an ambulance arrives.
Smith said all pursuits are investigated to ensure that proper policies were followed. That process is ongoing, he said, but it appears the chase happened so fast there wasn’t time for a supervisor to make a decision to call it off.
“We’re fortunate that in this case no innocent people or the trooper were hurt,” he said. “The people involved in the vehicle sustained some injuries but none life-threatening.”
The crash is under investigation, Smith said, but Nixon, who has not yet been charged, could face charges of reckless operation, no driver’s license, failure to control, fleeing and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Troopers are investigating whether alcohol or drugs were a factor, Smith said.