5-month-old girl dies after father crashes during car chase with Parma police

October 10, 2018

5-month-old girl dies after father crashes during car chase with Parma police

PARMA, Ohio — A 4-month-old girl died Wednesday, two days after her father crashed into a garbage truck during a chase with Parma police who suspected the man of shoplifting food and beer.

Myah Jones, the daughter of Robert Jones, died at MetroHealth, according to police and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner. Robert Jones, 31, also died in the crash.

Robert Jones’ 48-year-old mother was treated and released at the hospital. Her name is not being released because police because “criminal charges are pending” against her, police said.

Parma police said they believe the officer followed police policy during the two-minute chase that topped out at about 60 miles per hour and ended with the car bursting into flames.

The incident began about 5 a.m., when Robert Jones and his mother separately went into Giant Eagle. Jones loaded up his cart, left some items and walked out with steak, lobster tails and beer without paying, police said.

An officer pulled up behind the car, a Chevy Malibu, at the intersection of Ridge Road and West Ridgewood Drive. Jones sped up, turned on several side streets and returned to Ridge Road. He turned right on Pearl Road, skidded and slammed into the garbage truck, according to police dashboard camera video.

The driver’s side door slammed into the truck at the end of the two-minute, two-mile chase. Officers ran to the car, which quickly burst into flames because of a gas leak. One officer’s pants caught fire and he stomped out the fire.

Several officers used handheld fire extinguishers to quell the blaze and realized Jones was dead. They also spotted the 48-year-old woman in the front passenger seat and the 5-month-old in a car seat.

Officers pulled the woman from a car. It took police and firefighters about seven minutes to pull the baby out of the car, police said.

Police said the car Jones drove was registered to someone else. The owner of the car told police he lent the car to a woman with a child because the child was hungry, according to police dispatch records.

Jones did not have any active warrants and police said Monday it appeared he was speeding from police to avoid getting arrested or cited for shoplifting.

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