West Memphis Teen Dies After Collision with Police Cruiser

FEBRUARY 23, 2007 - Posted at 7:14 a.m. CST

WEST MEMPHIS, AR - West Memphis police say a 16-year-old high school sophomore is dead from injuries she suffered when her car collided with a police car speeding to the scene of a robbery.

Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen said yesterday that Brittney Sikes' car collided shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday with a police cruiser driven by Officer James Wright of the West Memphis Police Department.  Allen said Wright was responding to a call for assistance from another officer at the scene of a robbery on a Wal-Mart parking lot when he pulled out to pass Sikes' car.  According to Allen, as Wright's patrol car moved abreast of the other car, Sikes tried to turn left, and the two vehicles collided.

Allen said Wright was using his patrol car's siren and emergency lights when the accident occured.

Sikes was taken to a hospital in Memphis, where she died early yesterday.  KAIT's Memphis sister station, WMC-TV, reports that a passenger in Sikes' car, her younger sister, was hospitalized with a broken collarbone and broken pelvis.

Allen expressed sympathy with Sikes' family.  He said he was a parent himself, and his heart went out to the girl's family.

The assistant chief said Wright suffered only minor injuries.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)