Toledo woman charged for fatal police chase
Tue, 26 Jan 2010 12:08:17 GMT —
A bizarre police chase through Oregon ended in a fatal crash in East Toledo early Tuesday morning.
Oregon Police say they received a report of a theft at the Mejier store on Woodville and Wheeling around 1:30 a.m. The report indicated the suspects were headed north on Wheeling St. in a maroon-colored Oldsmobile. Police near the scene located the vehicle driving down Brown Rd. with no headlights on and the driver's door open.
In pursuit of the suspect vehicle, police say they passed the car and noticed the person in the driver's seat trying to exit the vehicle in motion. The person was yelling out, "Help me, help me," according to police. The passenger of the vehicle was seen leaning over into the driver's side of the car with both hands on the steering wheel. Police believe the passenger had her foot on the gas and was in control of the vehicle for at least a portion of the pursuit.
Police say the pursuing officer lost track of the suspect vehicle after it crossed over into East Toledo. Moments later, the Oregon Police officer, along with Toledo Police, located the vehicle after it had crashed into a utility pole on the side of Wheeling St. near Parnell St.
The body of the woman in the driver's seat, Tonya Smith, 47, was found with fatal injuries, lying in a driveway just north of the vehicle. The vehicle's passenger, Gabrielle Harris, 29, of 713 Dorr St., was not immediately located; however, police tracked footprints in the snow which led them through a neighborhood to Harris. She was taken into custody and treated at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center for unknown injuries.
Harris has been charged with kidnapping, theft, and fleeing and eluding by Oregon Police. She has been charged by Toledo Police for involuntary manslaughter and failure to comply. According to records, Harris has an extensive misdemeanor record in Lucas County. She has several convictions included those of petty theft, aggravated theft, soliciting. She also has a felony theft conviction out of Maumee.
The vehicle is registered to Smith (aka Tonya Lynn Joyner) of 241 16th St., Toledo.The incident remains under investigation.