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Police Chase Ends in Fatal Wreck - Driver Charged Today

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 Three men in a stolen vehicle who were wanted for the attempted theft of merchandise from a Calvert County store fled when a state trooper tried to stop them and minutes later were involved in a crash on Route 4 that left one of them dead and two seriously injured.

 Killed in the crash was Charles Hawkins, 43 of Prince Georges County. He was a passenger in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

 Injured in the crash were the driver Darren D. McCoy, 39 of Bladensburg, and a remaining passenger, Juan Francisco Canales, 20 of Hyattsville, Prince George’s County.

 McCoy was flown by Maryland State Police helicopter, and Canales was flown by U.S. Park Police helicopter, Eagle 1 to Prince George’s County Hospital with injuries described as critical at the time of the crash.

 At 10:30 a.m. Friday, McCoy was released from the hospital and taken into custody by the Maryland State Police.

 He was charged with Negligent Manslaughter, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Felony Theft, Fleeing and Eluding Police, and Reckless/Negligent Driving.  Additional charges are pending a Grand Jury review. McCoy is incarcerated in the Calvert County Detention Center and held on a No Bond Status.

 Canales is still in critical condition at Prince George’s General Hospital and Medical Center.

At about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, the three men were seen by store security attempting to steal electronic merchandise from the Wal Mart in Prince Frederick.

 Witnesses obtained a tag number and description of the Jeep the three left the parking lot in and gave the information to responding police.  A broadcast for the suspects was issued to police in the region.

 Shortly after 2:20 p.m., a Maryland State Police sergeant assigned to the Prince Frederick Barracks spotted the suspect vehicle headed north on Route 4 in Prince Frederick.  The trooper activated his emergency lights and siren and attempted to stop the Jeep, but the driver refused.

 The Jeep driver accelerated and a pursuit ensued north on Route 4.  Assisting with the pursuit were additional troopers, MSP helicopter Trooper 7, and Calvert County Sheriff’s units.  During the pursuit troopers were advised the Jeep had been reported stolen in Prince George’s County.

 As the Jeep sped through the intersection northbound Route 4 at Town Center Blvd., running through the red traffic signal, it struck a 2006 Honda SUV driven by Randal L. Cooper, 51 of Chesapeake Beach, and overturned.  The occupants in the Jeep were trapped in the vehicle and had to be freed by emergency personnel.  The driver of the Honda was not injured.

 The crash is being investigated by troopers from the Prince Frederick Barracks and the MSP CRASH Team.  The theft is being investigated by the Calvert Co. Sheriff’s Office.  Witnesses with any information regarding this incident are urged to call the Prince Frederick Barrack at 410-535-1400.

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