The incident began with Officer Heath Oyler clocking a car at 40 mph in a 25 mph zone on Yorkshire Lane at about 5:45 a.m. Thursday, police said. After the driver turned the car on to Bull Run Road, Oyler attempted to stop it. The driver didn't stop, police said, turning on to West Rugby Road and speeding away instead.
Oyler did not engage in a high-speed pursuit and lost sight of the vehicle but continued along West Rugby until he found the vehicle crashed in the 8500 block of West Rugby, police said. The car was on fire, and the driver allegedly was trying to flee, but injuries apparently sustained in the crash felled him, police said.
When Oyler approached the driver, the driver began yelling that his baby daughter was in the car, police said. Oyler retrieved the 8-month-old girl from her safety seat.
"I couldn't get in through the driver's side so I went around to the passenger side and was able to force the back door open," Oyler told NBC4's Jackie Bensen.
She was relatively unharmed but was taken to an area hospital for treatment and then released to her mother.
The driver, 23-year-old Gustavo Adolfo Diaz-Bautista, of Centreville, remains hospitalized in stable condition. He is charged with eluding police, child abuse/neglect and driving on a revoked license. He is being held without bond.