The driver of a stolen car led a Westwego police officer on a chase into Marrero on Friday afternoon before crashing into two other vehicles and a light pole, killing his 17-year-old passenger, officials said.
The dead passenger was Zyonne Willis, from New Orleans, Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said.
Authorities did not immediately identify the driver, who was hospitalized with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
The driver of a moving vehicle hit by the stolen car was not injured and also was not identified in a joint statement on the case from the Westwego Police Department and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The deadly chase began about 2:20 p.m., when a Westwego police officer spotted a 2015 Toyota Prius that had been reported stolen. The officer, whose name wasn’t released, tried to pull the driver over on River Road and pursued him when the driver sped off, authorities said.
The Prius later crashed head-on with a Chevrolet Silverado in the 7300 block of 4th Street in Marrero. It also struck a parked Ford Fiesta and a light pole before stopping.
Willis was pronounced dead on the scene.
The Sheriff’s Office said it is handling the crash because it occurred outside the Westwego city limits. Westwego police are handling the arrest of the driver as well as the recovery of the stolen vehicle.
Some agencies in the region, such as the New Orleans Police Department, have adopted policies prohibiting officers from chasing drivers of stolen vehicles unless they’re also suspected of violent crimes. But many other agencies do not.