Police response to car theft part of probe into fatalities

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A Long Island police official says it appears officers were not technically pursuing a suspected car thief during a crash that claimed five lives.

A stolen Camaro crashed into an oil truck and a Mazda, which struck another vehicle and burst into flames. The crash Wednesday in the hamlet of Ridge killed four people in the Mazda and a passenger in the stolen car.

Suffolk County Police Chief Stuart Cameron says the police response to the car theft will be part of the investigation.

Newsday reports that Cameron says patrol cars "were some distance behind" the stolen car when the four-vehicle wreck occurred.

During an official pursuit, officers must check in with dispatcher and assess the nature of the crime and the safety of the officers and the public.


Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com