Police chase ends with stolen church van slamming into NJ Transit bus in Newark

Saturday, July 21, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

Anthony Johnson reports on the crime spree that ended in a chase and bus crash in New Jersey.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- More than a dozen people are hospitalized, including two suspects who are in custody, after a church van being pursued by police collided with an New Jersey Transit bus in Newark early Friday.

The crash happened at 1:45 a.m. at the intersection of South 16th Street and Springfield Avenue.

The chase began a short time earlier, after police say two men stole a white church van that belongs to the Bethlehem Judah Christian Fellowship Church in Elizabeth.

The two men allegedly went on a crime spree overnight, using three different vehicles to rob three different people at gunpoint while wearing masks.

The stolen church van was eventually spotted by Maplewood police officers, who began to pursue it.

The driver of the van led police on a chase into Newark, where it collided with the bus.

The force of the collision sent both vehicles onto the property of the United House of Prayer For All People church.

Nine people on the bus, two police officers and two suspects identified as Dandel Grimsley and Lionel Watson were all taken to University Hospital to be treated for injuries.

The injuries to the bus passengers and the police officers were described as minor. The driver of the van sustained serious injuries.

The van was to be used for a church field trip Friday, but the event was canceled after the theft.

The intersection of 16th and Springfield was shut down for several hours as police investigated and crews worked to clear the wrecked vehicles.


* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts