September 12, 2003 - Posted at: 7:34 a.m. CDT
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. -- A crash of a West Memphis patrol car during a chase of another car carrying suspects in a robbery killed one officer and injured another.
The crash occured last night as the chase in the eastbound lanes of Interstate-55 neared the Arkansas end of a bridge carrying traffic over the Mississippi River into Memphis, Tennessee. The section of roadway was closed to traffic.
State Police said 24-year-old Michael Waters was killed. The State Police report said Waters, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from his cruiser and run over by a second police car that was in pursuit. Police Chief Robert Paudert says as the patrol car topped a hill, it struck a concrete barrier that the driver likely did not see in the dark.
The other injured officer, a passenger in Waters' vehicle, was identified as Robert Hester, 22, a trainee. He was taken to a hospital for minor injuries. State Police identified the driver of the other cruiser as Bert Shelton.
Officials said the officers were chasing three men in a stolen car with a Tennessee license plate when the crash occured at an exit near the bridge. West Memphis and Memphis police were still searching for the suspects last night.