A 44-year-old mother, Michelle Wall, died when a suspect fleeing police during a pursuit hit her at high speed. Euclid Police got their suspect but Wall’s family and friends say it was at too high a cost. They’re calling for accountability while authorities deal with the 17-year-old suspect who was allegedly driving a stolen Jeep SUV.

Dashcam captured the chase as the driver of the SUV left the highway at high speed before hitting Wall’s Chevrolet Trax. Wall was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene. “I’m in pieces,” Wall’s sister-in-law, also named Michelle, said. “I’m in disbelief because she was just so good and she was on her way to another church service. You all could’ve stopped that chase,” Michelle said about the officers involved, “and you all out of district.”

In her eyes, the officers involved were out of their jurisdiction when the crash happened at East 156th Street just off Interstate 90 in Cleveland. The chase started only a few minutes prior when a FLOCK camera alerted to a reportedly stolen Jeep. When officers attempted to make a traffic stop on that Jeep, the driver sped away.

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Police are deflecting blame from the situation solely onto the shoulders of the suspect. “My deepest condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Michelle Wall. She lost her life in yet another senseless act of violence and lawlessness in Cuyahoga County,” Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer said in a statement. “Her life was taken by a suspect who attempted to evade apprehension by the Euclid Police Department; a suspect who acted selfishly without any regard for the lives and safety of others.”

That suspect turned out to be a 17-year-old boy who now faces murder charges along with several others including aggravated vehicular homicide, failure to comply with the order/signal of a police officer, felonious assault, receiving stolen property, and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle. He is in the Cuyahoga County Detention Center awaiting a court date on April 4th.

According to WKYC, Wall’s family and friends want more accountability from the police. There’s no question that criminals should be held accountable for their actions here. The question is about how to do that without needlessly endangering the lives of the innocent. Police-conducted studies and recommendations from the Department of Justice suggest that pursuits are overused. If officers had terminated the pursuit there’s no telling what would’ve happened. It’s possible though that a life could’ve been saved.

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Image Credit: Euclid Police Department