BETHEL TWP., Miami County — A bystander has been credited with helping rescue and comfort a child who survived a deadly crash in Miami County that brought a high-speed pursuit to an end Tuesday morning.
The crash at state Route 202 and U.S. 40 killed Jalen Alexander, 19, who was being pursed by Troy police, and Chelsey Vollmer, 32, the driver of another vehicle that was hit by Alexander’s SUV.
Surviving the crash were two passengers, a woman in Alexander’s vehicle and a Vollmer’s 17-month-old daughter who was in her vehicle.
After the violent crash at the Bethel Twp. intersection, Jennifer Cain, who witnessed the crash, said she raced to Vollmer’s vehicle and yelled for police to help, because they had yet to realize a second vehicle had been involved in the crash.
News Center 7 obtained cruiser camera footage Wednesday through public record requests that showed the pursuit from the perspective of Troy police and a Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputy involved as well.
Both pieces of footage show that police and deputies were well behind Alexander when the crash happened. In the footage from the sheriff’s office, a deputy attempted to deflate the tires of Alexander’s SUV moments before the crash.
Cain said she heard the grinding metal of the collision near her home and ran to the car that was closest. She said she couldn’t get to Vollmer, but heard a child’s cry.
“I heard it again and I was like I’ve got to get to it, I’ve got to get to this baby,” Cain told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell.
Cain said after police rushed to her, they helped free the girl and Cain held her until medics arrived on the scene.
“I was with her and my neighbor across the street, and her mother, and my husband got a blanket. I’ve just been praying for that little baby, praying for the family,” Cain said.
Both the child and the other woman injured in the crash suffered injuries described as non-life threatening, according to state troopers.
The crash is being investigated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol while Troy police investigation their officer’s actions during the pursuit. Cain said she’s undecided about police pursuits of wanted and dangerous people.
“Unfortunately the decision made has cost the life of an innocent person,” Cain said.
Excessive speed was a factor in the crash and speeds were reported over 100 mph during the pursuit. Troy Police Chief Shawn McKinney said the pursuit began while an officer was looking for Alexander and spotted him driving the SUV.
McKinney added that Alexander was wanted for multiple outstanding warrants in Miami and Greene counties.