Authorities: 2 toddlers dead in 'horrific' police pursuit crash

Authorities said two 10-year-old boys died in a “horrific” rollover incident after the driver of their vehicle escaped a traffic stop and crashed after a law enforcement pursuit.

The incident occurred in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, soon before midnight on Wednesday.

According to the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, a Waukesha County deputy attempted a traffic stop in the city of Pewaukee at about 11:49 p.m. local time on a car that was speeding and had no plates displayed. officer Inspector Patrick Esser of the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department told reporters during a press conference Thursday that the driver of the vehicle originally halted but then left “at a high rate of speed” before the officer could make contact with him.

According to Esser, two deputies pursued the vehicle for a “short distance” before it crashed and rolled over. There were no other automobiles engaged.

Authorities: 2 toddlers dead in 'horrific' police pursuit crash

According to cross streets provided by the sheriff’s department, the vehicle crashed in the town of Delafield, roughly 3 miles from the initial traffic stop.

According to officials, six people from Milwaukee were in the vehicle at the time of the crash: two adults and four youngsters. According to authorities, the driver, a 29-year-old guy, is in critical but stable condition in the hospital. His 29-year-old partner is in stable condition in the hospital.

Authorities reported the driver’s two 10-year-old sons were pronounced dead at the site. Authorities said the driver’s 6-year-old daughter and 14-year-old niece are in critical condition in the hospital.

Sheriff Eric Severson of Waukesha County termed the incident “horrific” but “preventable.”

“The fact that two children lost their lives this morning as the result of really bad decision-making is very saddening to all of us,” he went on to say.

Authorities: 2 toddlers dead in 'horrific' police pursuit crash

The motorist was wanted on a warrant for felon in possession of a handgun and would likely face additional charges as a result of the traffic stop and crash, according to the sheriff. Severson stated that in order to be transparent, he requested that the Washington County Sheriff’s Department undertake a study of the crash and that his agency will also be reviewing their chase policy and procedures.

According to preliminary evidence, the sheriff’s deputies engaged did not violate any laws and “did their job right,” he added.

“When law enforcement officers get involved in pursuits it’s because people choose to elude us,” he stated. “We don’t take any actions that would provoke somebody to run from us.”

The duration of the pursuit will be revealed after the investigation, according to Esser.

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