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HERO: Sergeant Rescues Suspects From Burning SUV After Pursuit Ends In Crash Near NJ-NY Border

Aftermath
Aftermath Photo Credit: DAILY VOICE

UPDATE: A Palisades Interstate Parkway police sergeant rescued two suspects from a burning SUV after it crashed into two other vehicles and overturned during a stolen-vehicle chase Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

A group of suspects who'd become the subjects of a suspicious persons report fled the Englewood Cliffs Marina in a GMC Envoy shortly before 3 p.m., PIP Police Sgt. First Class Raymond Walter said.

An alert went out to surrounding departments about the SUV, which had been reported stolen out of Onondaga County, NY, he said.

Englewood Cliffs police began pursuing the vehicle before breaking off the chase at Exit 2 on the PIP, Walter said. Moments later, PIP Sgt. Martin Clancy spotted the GMC on the road to the State Line Lookout rest area in Alpine.

The sergeant got out of his cruiser in an attempt to pull the vehicle over when it “began to speed up directly at him,” Walter said.

Clancy dove out of the way, got back into his car and pursued the Envoy onto the parkway, the sergeant said.

The GMC abruptly turned from the northbound to the southbound lanes and quickly exited at Exit 3, where the driver lost control of the vehicle, he said.

The Envoy jumped the curb and barreled onto Route 9W, where it struck a northbound Freightliner box truck, Walter said. It then rolled and hit a southbound Hyundai, he said.

The occupants of the truck and sedan didn’t report any injuries, Walter said.

Meanwhile, a suspect emerged from the GMC wearing a ski mask and black pants with no shirt, the sergeant said.

Clancy ordered him to the ground, but the suspect ran into woods after threatening to harm him, he said.

Seeing the Envoy on fire, Clancy turned his attention to two people trapped inside.

He retrieved a fire extinguisher, doused the flames and removed 18-year-old Kylee-Renee Hemlock of Nedrow, NY and a boy, 16, from Syracuse.

Additional units from the PIP and other police departments converged on the scene. Soon after, two other suspects who fled the crash were captured in the woods near the Alpine-Closter border.

One was identified as a 15-year-old boy from Lafayette, NY. He suffered cuts to his neck, left arm and upper back in the crash and was airlifted to Hackensack University Medical Center, Walter said.

The second suspect was identified as a 17-year-old boy from North Carolina. He sustained injuries to his chest and right arm and leg and was taken to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus.

Charges were pending against all four suspects, Walter said.

The sergeant thanked law enforcement colleagues who responded – among them, police from Alpine, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Norwood and Tenafly – along with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office.

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