1 child killed, another fighting for life after fleeing suspect causes head-on crash

Local News

SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Petersburg man is facing several charges, including involuntary manslaughter, after police say he caused a fatal head-on collision while fleeing from a state trooper Wednesday morning in Sussex County.

The crash left a 5-year-old girl dead and an 8-year-old boy fighting for his life in the hospital.

The incident began shortly after 8 a.m. when 29-year-old Toriando B. Smith fled the scene of a traffic stop in Dinwiddie County after a trooper observed Smith, driving a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze, traveling 39 mph in a 25 mph zone near Route 618 and Halligan Park Road. Police say Smith pulled over, but sped off as the trooper approached his vehicle on foot. 

A pursuit began and continued onto Route 40 in Sussex County. The trooper eventually lost sight of the Cruze as it was traveling in excess of 100 mph. As the trooper searched the area for the suspect vehicle, he came upon a traffic crash on Route 681, approximately 1.5 miles south of Route 40. 

At a bend in the road, the Chevrolet Cruze had struck a 2018 Chevrolet Impala head-on. The impact of the crash caused the Chevrolet Cruze to catch fire. 

The trooper pulled the pursuit suspect — who was the only occupant in the Cruze — from his burning vehicle. He suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries and is being treated at VCU Medical Center in Richmond. 

The driver of the Chevrolet Impala, a 30-year-old female of Stony Creek, Va., is being treated at Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg for serious, but non-life threatening, injuries.

A 5-year-old female passenger in the Impala succumbed to her injuries sustained in the crash. An 8-year-old male passenger was flown by Virginia State Police to VCU Medical Center and is being treated for life-threatening injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

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