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Gene Kennedy reporting Police call off a chase just moments before a deadly crash. Now two victims are dead and two suspects are recovering in the hospital.
It started at 2:30 Tuesday morning in Ogden. Two suspects running away from police crashed into another car, killing two people.
The victim’s car was traveling eastbound on 24th Street. The suspects car was traveling north on Grant at about 45 mph. Police say the suspects car was not speeding, but they were driving erratically. They ran a red light at the intersection of 24th & Grant, and then crashed into the victim’s car, throwing it onto the sidewalk. The victim’s car was split open on the passenger side.
62-year-old Philemon Ellis and 21-year-old Jessica Nelson were pronounced dead at the scene.
“It’s very tragic, and our heart goes out to the families involved across this whole thing.”
Friends of the victims say this accident happened for no reason.
Angie Smith, Nelson Family Friend: "I think God has a purpose for her, I really do because she's a special person. Sometimes they say the special people dont' stay on the earth long enough."
The two suspects were injured. They're at the hospital but are expected to survive.
The vehicle that hit the victim’s car had been chased by police for a time. The chase had begun about 15 blocks away from the 24th & Grant intersection.
Dep. Chief Randy Watt, Ogden City Police Dept.: “What happened this morning was at about 2:30, officers were surveying a house suspected of some gang activity as part of an ongoing investigation. A vehicle came up to that house, and was there approximately 20 to 30 minutes. It left there driving very erratically.”
Police say the driver refused to pull over.
Sgt. Mike McKay, Utah Highway Patrol: “Our investigators have spoken with the officer, and they indicate that the vehicle had been in the wrong lane, traveling in the wrong lane.”
A sergeant with the police department called off the chase.
Dep. Chief Randy Watt, Ogden City Police Dept.: “He thought, OK, we’ve made our best try, the risk is starting to increase, or for whatever reason followed the protocol and stopped the pursuit. The officer stopped, turned off his lights and his siren. The vehicle continued for about a block and half, and then entered the intersection of 24th and Grant.”
Police are investigating whether the driver of the suspects vehicle, 40-year-old Eddie Raymond Bustos, was under the influence of drugs while behind the wheel.
Once out of the hospital , Bustos faces charges for possession of methamphetamines and two counts of automobile homicide. An underage female in the car with him was not charged.