Young woman, man in stolen car die in crash after high-speed police chase
Brew Baker, 22, of Bonney Lake and 18-year-old Krista Case died in the crash, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
The incident began at about 2:10 p.m., sheriff’s department detective Ed Troyer said, when a Tacoma mother called 911 to report her 18-year-old daughter’s friends had left a stolen white Honda in her garage. She called back shortly after that to say the friends had returned in a black Honda to retrieve the stolen white car.
At 2:28 p.m., Troyer said, a deputy found the two cars at 152nd Street and 22nd Avenue. The two cars split up, and the deputy pursued the black Honda westbound on 152nd Street. Troyer said the black Honda was confirmed stolen, too.
Another deputy found the white Honda at 22nd and Military Road and began a pursuit that involved multiple road and lane changes at more than 100 mph.
The white Honda collided with a green sedan at 152nd Street and Brookdale Road East and the two people inside the stolen car –Case and Baker — were killed.
The driver of the green sedan was transported to an area hospital with moderate injuries.
Neighborhood resident Mary Hesse was shaken by what she saw. She said she peeked over her back fence when she heard sirens and saw a man in a white Honda being chased by several Pierce County sheriff's deputies.
"I thought he was going to hit the fence," Hesse said. "We locked eyes at that point. He recovered and went around the corner, and I knew he wasn’t going to make it. That was when we heard the impact. It shook the ground. It shook the ground this far up."
Troyer said Baker, the driver of the stolen white Honda, "was part of a larger ring of car thieves. We've been having problems out here with multiple cars being stolen. We're still missing a lot of them. We believe this is a suspect responsible for a lot of them."
Referring to the young woman killed in the crash, Troyer said, "It's sad that the mother called us and alerted us and it turned out this way. But the 19-year-old has had some problems and was willingly in a stolen car."
"For the mother calling, wow, that’s pretty gutsy," Hesse said. "She was looking out for her daughter and obviously knew she wasn’t with the right type of people. I feel sorry for the families, I really do. I just don't feel it had to end this way."
The stolen black Honda was stopped by a deputy at 153rd Street East and Military Road East, and a suspect in that vehicle was detained. The driver was not immediately identified.