Elderly woman killed when driver being pulled over crashes into her vehicle in Queens

ByCeFaan Kim, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, July 8, 2016
Suspect being pursued by police causes deadly crash in Queens
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CeFaan Kim has the story.

CAMBRIA HEIGHTS, Queens (WABC) -- An elderly woman was killed when her car was struck by a vehicle that police were attempting to pull over in Queens Thursday afternoon.

Surveillance video captured the vicious collision that killed the 78-year-old woman.

In the top left of the screen, you can see a BMW SUV speeding through an intersection, and slam into a green sedan.

"I heard like a bomb. A loud crash," a resident said.

The impact, flipped the SUV on its side.

"The loudness. All you could hear was the car just speeding. You could hear that, because of that boom, and then another boom because he hit the pole and the tree. It was horrible," said Charles Lawrence, an eyewitness.

Cops say 51-year-old Derrick Perkins was behind the wheel.

Witnesses say the suspect was taken away in handcuffs by police at the crash site in Cambria Heights.

Cops say it started just before 1 p.m. Thursday.

Perkins had allegedly stolen a cell phone from a tire shop nearby.

Police later spotted his SUV and tried to pull him over, twice.

"The suspect's vehicle rammed the unmarked police vehicle and again drove off," the NYPD said.

Less than two minutes later, police say Perkins ran a red light at the intersection of 225th Street and Linden Boulevard.

Witnesses say he was going 80 miles an hour.

"After the collision, the suspect attempted to flee on foot and was apprehended after a brief struggle with the officers," the NYPD said.

Police say Perkins is no stranger to law enforcement.

He is currently serving life time parole for murder and was recently released.

The 78-year-old woman driving the green sedan died at the scene.

"She was innocent, just going about her business. And she loses her life, innocent. Nobody deserves that," said Yvonne Gardner, an eyewitness.

Several witnesses meanwhile, describe a high speed pursuit by cops which goes against department policy.

"It did sound like a police chase. I'm used to that, but not this early in the day, usually at night time," Lawrence said.

Police officials say Perkins was being followed, not chased.

The suspect was also injured, but the extent of his injuries is unclear.

Charges against him are pending.

The identity of the victim has not been released.

Several police officers were taken to North Shore-Manhasset with non-life threatening injuries.