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Six die in south Texas police chase crash

Police chases and pursuits are dangerous. Law enforcement officers, suspects and bystanders are injured and killed every year in high-speed pursuits that take place on a regular basis across the country. In Texas, yesterday a high-speed chase led to an multi-vehicle crash at an intersection in Mission that left six people dead.

The pickup truck involved in the car accident north of Mission hit three other vehicles at an intersection. The pickup truck had allegedly been stolen and was being chased by law enforcement vehicles at the time of the fatal accident, according to a statement by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The danger posed to the driving public by these kinds of accident is often great, and the consequences of a vehicles traveling at extreme speeds through city streets and residential areas can be tragic.

At 100 mph, a vehicle is traveling the length of a football field every three seconds. On city streets, this speed reduces the reaction time of any driver, and makes it unlikely they will be able to stop or take evasive action if necessary.

We are perhaps conditioned by Hollywood movies, where carefully choreographed chases are executed by trained stunt drivers on a closed course using specialized vehicles. The real world lacks these safe guards and real people are killed when these pursuits go tragically wrong.

The problem is stealing a car in Texas might result in a car theft being sentenced to up to 10 years in jail. But for the innocent bystanders killed during a high-speed pursuit, it's a death penalty. 

Source: CBS News, "Police chase in Texas leaves 6 people dead," CBS/AP, August 13, 2013

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