Investigators revealed the timeline of events leading up to Monday's police cruiser crash on Interstate 95 that killed 23-year-old Prince George's County police Officer Adrian Morris and injured 24-year-old Officer Michael Risher.
Kevon Darnell Neal, of Fort Washington, and Kenneth Clark Mitchell Jr., of northeast D.C., are accused of stealing a gray 2005 Acura TL that a customer left running while she went into the convenience store of a Beltsville Exxon station Sunday night, police said.
According to police, the suspects were in that Acura Monday when they allegedly attempted to steal from a vehicle at a Shell station in Laurel. When employees were able to point out the Acura to responding police, a pursuit on to I-95 began.
The suspect vehicle traveled at a high rate of speed and cut directly across all lanes of traffic. Citizens steered clear or applied their brakes to avoid colliding with the vehicle.
"This causes a chain reaction, or a reaction, which causes our pursuing officer, who is traveling in the middle lanes of the Beltway to quickly change lanes to avoid striking another vehicle,” Prince George’s County police Maj. Mike Straughan explained Wednesday. “When this maneuver is made, the officer loses control of his police cruiser and slides off the roadway.”
Morris, the officer driving the police cruiser, was ejected from it and suffered massive head injuries.
Prince George's County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks will wait for the finding of the accident reconstruction team to determine whether the driver of the Acura will be charged with causing the fatal accident.
“If that report supports it, then we will certainly file vehicular manslaughter cases if it is appropriate after all the facts have been gathered,” she said.
Police arrested Mitchell Tuesday and charged him with felony auto theft. They issued a wanted poster Wednesday for Neal, who is believed to be the driver.
Viewings for Morris will be held Monday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Borgwardt’s Funeral Home at 4400 Powder Mill Road in Beltsville. Another viewing from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday at Woodstream Church at 9800 Lottsford Road in Mitchellville will be followed by funeral services and internment at Lakemount Memorial Park Cemetery in Davidsonville.