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Police: Fleeing man causes crash that killed pregnant woman

July 7, 2021 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man fleeing officers is accused of causing a crash in Wichita that killed a pregnant 22-year-old woman, forcing doctors to perform an emergency delivery and leaving the baby in critical condition, police said.

The incident happened Tuesday, as police were investigating two robberies involving the same suspects, Wichita police said. One suspect was arrested, but the other fled in a pickup truck, officials said. A brief chase ensued but was quickly ended, police said.

A short time later, police said, the truck sped through a red light and hit several vehicles, including a car the pregnant woman was driving. Police later identified her as 22-year-old Samantha Russell, who was 33 weeks pregnant. Russell was rushed to a hospital, where she died. Doctors delivered the baby in an emergency procedure, and the baby was in critical condition Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Police arrested the suspected driver of the truck, 37-year-old Javan Jermaine Ervin, following a short foot chase on suspicion of first-degree murder in commission of a felony, aggravated battery and criminal possession of a firearm.

Ervin was ordered held without bond on Wednesday morning.