Man Evading Police Crashes, Killing One Woman

SPRINGFIELD -- The pursuit started after the suspect struck an elderly man in the parking lot of a grocery store.

Dana Nichole Sowards, 31, is dead after being hit by a man evading police.

That fatal accident happened at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Scenic after police chased the suspect for a crime he had committed just minutes before the crash occurred. 

The pursuit started at the Price Cutter on Chestnut and West Bypass when the 54-year old male suspect struck an elderly man with his car in the parking lot while he was pushing a shopping cart. 

This sparked a pursuit that ended with the death of 31-year-old Sowards, who was uninvolved with the chase.

Lieutenant Stacey Parton with Springfield Police says police watched the initial incident occur at Price Cutter. 

"Police were on scene, they saw it happen. They witnessed the incident occur with the elderly gentleman at Price Cutter," Parton says.  

That is when the suspect took off. 

"That vehicle fled the scene at chestnut and west bypass, over here in to the west side of Springfield. Our units were actively trying to purse and arrest that subject," says Parton.  

The pursuit was active until police lost the suspect in the of Catalpa and Scenic about a half mile south of the crash site. 

"The suspect vehicle was northbound on scenic when it struck broadside a black passenger car," explains Parton.  

Robyne Hash was working at the nearby Family Video as the crash happened. 

"I heard it first. I heard the sirens as the cops caught up," Hash recalls. "I couldn't tear my eyes away because I was wondering what was happening, and if everyone was okay." 

Two other cars were involved and it turns out, Hash knew the driver of one of those cars, who is a regular at the store. 

"I see her all the time. She was pretty shaken up because her brother and her were involved in the accident," Hash says.  

The other people involved will walk away with non-life threatening injuries, including the suspect, who will KOLR10 will leave unnamed until he is formally charged. 

The identity of the man hit in the Price Cutter parking lot is unknown. but police are asking that man to come forward so they can gather more details in the investigation. 

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