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Videos of Baltimore County Police pursuit show moments before fatal crash on I-695 – Baltimore Sun

The Maryland Attorney General's Office released police body camera videos Thursday showing the pursuit by Baltimore County police that preceded a fatal car crash on Interstate 695 in April.

Police said a vehicle traveling the wrong way on the Baltimore Beltway's Outer Loop hit 37-year-old Dimeka Thornton's Acura head-on on April 8.

The Windsor Mill woman died at a hospital and the driver police were pursuing was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The chase began after officers patrolling the 1800 block of Belmont Avenue in Windsor Mill unsuccessfully attempted to stop a man they observed getting into a car that had been reported stolen, police said.

Body-worn camera video from two county officers showed a car rolling out of a hotel parking lot. According to the videos, police cruisers followed the driver with their lights and sirens on.

The Attorney General's Independent Investigations Division previously identified the officers involved as Sgt. Ferguson, Officer Daley, Officer Marrero, Officer Hadel and Officer Creter. The Attorney General's Office is investigating the pursuit with assistance from the Maryland State Police Crash Team.

An agreement with the county officers union prevents the department from releasing the full names of rank-and-file officers involved in fatal chases or shootings. However, a county salary database lists officers with the same names, ranks and years of service in the department as Justin Ferguson, Sean Daley, Rafael Marrero, Derek Hadel and Daniel Creter.

As police cars pursued the driver, Daley described the road conditions and the car's speed into his radio, according to a video. The vehicle pursued by police reached speeds of 68 miles per hour at one point. Daley described traffic as “light” with no pedestrians.

The car was traveling about 55 miles per hour when it turned onto Liberty Road. Then the vehicle made an unexpected turn: onto Exit 18. “He's going the wrong way on the 695 ramp,” Daley said.

The officers did not follow the driver onto the exit.

“We don’t play these games,” Hadel said in a separate video.

Videos from Ferguson and Creter showed officers trying to pull drivers from the two damaged cars on the outside loop when their vehicles caught fire.

In a video, first responders tore at the door of the Acura, desperately trying to save Thornton as flames and smoke spread.

“Fire extinguisher if you have one!” “Can you cut your seatbelt?” In a video, the officers shouted to each other.

Officers struggled to pull her from the car, coughing amid smoke as orange flames were seen in the front seat. The front of the car appeared to be crushed.

“Come, ma’am!” said Ferguson.

Flames spread from the hood across the entire front of the vehicle while clouds of smoke and fire extinguisher spray rose.

“Get me someone to help me lift her up!” Ferguson shouted.

It was not clear from the videos how long it took police to free Thornton from the burning car.

As Creter approached the car the man was seen driving in a separate video, he told the other officers that the vehicle was stolen and instructed the driver not to move. Then, when a fire broke out, he ordered the man to get out of the car and eventually dragged him out the passenger door when he realized his leg might be broken.

“No, you leave the money in the car,” Creter said, referring to dollar bills scattered on the passenger side in the video. “There’s a fire right next to you, come on.”