Suspect charged after stolen Jeep runs red light, kills woman

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published April 30, 2021 | Updated May 5, 2021 9:56am

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A stolen Jeep ran a red light along Van Dyke Avenue the night of April 29 and caused a crash that led to the death of a woman in another vehicle, Sterling Heights police said. 

Police learned at around 11:15 p.m. that law enforcement from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department had been chasing after a white Jeep Cherokee that a suspect allegedly had stolen. A police press release said the theft occurred in Washington Township, and Sterling Heights police Lt. Mario Bastianelli later confirmed that the theft happened at an auto dealership.

“Ultimately, the pursuit was terminated before entering Sterling Heights,” Bastianelli said in the release. 

However, police said, the driver of the stolen vehicle still drove over 100 mph on southbound Van Dyke, driving through intersection red lights along the way, despite no longer being pursued by police.  

But at the Van Dyke Avenue and 15 Mile Road intersection, the Jeep reportedly ran the red light and plowed into a Chevrolet Malibu. A 20-year-old woman driving the Malibu was “instantly” killed due to the crash, Bastianelli said.

Following the initial impact, the vehicles crashed into a Hyundai Sonata, police said. Police said the Hyundai’s driver was injured and the passengers “had minor injuries.” 

Police identified the Jeep-driving suspect as Angelo Rickey Smith, 17, from Detroit. He reportedly was injured and hospitalized, and is still in police custody. Police are still looking for a Jeep passenger who reportedly fled on foot and got away. 

In the meantime, Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido announced in a press release that he has charged Smith with the following felonies: felony murder, which can carry a life sentence without parole; second-degree murder, which can bring a sentence of up to life in prison; first-degree fleeing a police officer, a 15-year felony; and second-degree fleeing a police officer, a 10-year felony. 

In a statement, Lucido said that the investigation is still ongoing and that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

“Our County is grieving the tragic death of a young woman,” Lucido said. “This blatant disregard for the lives of others must stop. These individuals who threaten our communities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Smith was reportedly arraigned May 3 at the 41-A District Court in Sterling Heights by Judge Kimberley Wiegand. The judge set bond at $100,000, cash/surety only. A court representative said Smith had no listed attorney at press time but has requested a court-appointed one. The court said Smith’s next court date is May 17.

Anyone who has more information on the matter is encouraged to call the Sterling Heights Police Department’s Traffic Safety Bureau at (586) 446-2920.

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