Driver possibly beating his girlfriend while behind the wheel, causes T-bone crash

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- On January 13th an Independence officer chased a man into Kansas City, then called it off. Minutes later he found the suspect in an accident at 23rd and Hardesty where police say he ran a red light, killing another driver.

"Based on what we know at the time, we do what we think is best" said IPD spokesperson Tom Gentry.

That's the Independence police chase policy in a nutshell, despite that pursuit in mid-January that ended in a deadly crash.

"Policing is not always pretty, you have to arrest people at times, you have to do what it takes to protect the public." explained Gentry.

Thursday afternoon, Independence police were in another chase, but didn't call it off. It ended in a serious crash.

It started with a 9-1-1 call to Lee's Summit police about an assault. A female passenger was being beaten by a male driver on I-470. Dispatchers transferred it to Independence once the driver left their city.

Police responded and began pursuing the man, who then crashed into an SUV at 39th Street and Little Blue Parkway in Independence. At the same time, Independence police received several 9-1-1 calls from drivers on I-70 also saying a man was driving down the Interstate and beating a female passenger.

"In this particular case we were trying to do what we had to do to protect someone," explained spokesperson Tom Gentry.

Gentry said it was an easy decision for officers when they heard what the suspect was doing. Police found the car going east on 39th from Noland and Gentry said officers approached with lights and sirens trying to get the driver to pull over.

"We didn't know the relationship, whether it was kidnapping, didn't know quite what the situation was," said Gentry.

The driver took off. Heather Duncan was sitting at a light when the suspect flew by, at first she wasnt sure what was going on.

"I didn't until I saw about 10 cop cars pass and then I realized they must be chasing that white vehicle," explained Duncan.

Moments later, the suspect crashed into an SUV at Little Blue Parkway. The impact crushed in the driver's side door and the jaws of life were needed to cut him out.

The suspected driver was released from the hospital, his female passenger and the driver of the SUV are both in serious condition.

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