Woman Struck During Police Chase Dies, Ferndale Police Chief to Seek Charges

Woman Struck During Police Chase Dies, Ferndale Police Chief to Seek Charges

(Ferndale Police, Feb. 17, 2020)

Ferndale, MI- One of the victims in the Feb. 14 crash in Royal Oak Township has died from her injuries.

According to Ferndale Police, “Mary Lackamp, an 89-year-old female who was critically injured on February 14, 2020 at approx. 9:15 p.m. after the car in which she was a passenger was struck by an SUV driven by Harris Howard as he was fleeing from police, was pronounced dead at 10:39 a.m. this morning.  As part of this open and active investigation we will be submitting this new information to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office. One other passenger from the victim vehicle remains in the hospital as a result of injuries from the crash.  Pending the issuance of an updated warrant and complaint, no further information will be made available, including dash or body worn camera video footage.

“We are heartbroken over the death of Ms. Lackamp,” said Ferndale Police Chief Vincent Palazzolo in a statement.  “We hold the driver of the fleeing vehicle one-hundred percent responsible for this incident as he made a conscious decision to flee from our officer and we feel horribly that his actions resulted in such a tragedy for her family and friends.  Something like this has never happened in my 25-year police career and I don’t take lightly the loss of her life or the pain that her loved ones must be going through.  Going forward, the full force of this department will work tirelessly to ensure the man we believe is responsible for her death is properly brought to justice.  We will release updates as warranted but no further comments will be made at this time.”

On February 14, 2020 at approximately 9:15 pm, a Ferndale police officer was on patrol in the City of Ferndale on westbound 8 Mile near West End when he saw a 2019 black Nissan Pathfinder, also westbound on 8 Mile, traveling at a high rate of speed.

The officer paced the vehicle and determined it was being driven at 70 miles per hour in a 40 mile an hour zone.  As the officer activated his emergency lights to stop the vehicle, the driver initially appeared to be pulling over and even turned on the vehicle’s four-way emergency flashers.

The driver,  26-year-old Harris Howard who has an address in Florida, did not stop and he drove away from the officer at speeds ranging from the posted speed limit of 40 to in excess of 70 miles per hour.  The actual pursuit lasted less than one minute and traveled approximately one mile on 8 Mile — from Livernois to the location of the crash at 8 Mile and Wyoming in the Charter Township of Royal Oak.  The driver of the fleeing vehicle ran from the crash scene and was quickly arrested by a Michigan State Police trooper a short distance away.  The passenger in the fleeing vehicle, a 26-year-old female from Iowa, suffered serious injuries in the crash and was transported to Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit by Detroit EMS.  She is in serious but stable condition.

The vehicle that was struck by the fleeing Nissan was occupied by three elderly occupants who were all injured.  The driver and back-seat passenger were transported to Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield by Superior Ambulance where they are in temporary serious but stable condition.  The front seat passenger was also transported to Ascension Providence Hospital by Ferndale Fire/Rescue and ultimately died of her injuries.

Harris Howard was arraigned on Feb. 15 in front of 43rd District Court Magistrate Brennan.  Howard was charged with 2nd Degree Fleeing and Eluding. Bond was set at $250,000 cash or surety bond. Next appearance date is 3/2/2020 @ 2 pm.

NOTE:  Police Reports come directly from the Police Department or agency involved and are written by the person or agency listed below the title.  We generally run these “as is” or with minimal editing for punctuation, spelling, etc. Suspects should not be presumed guilty.  Those needing more information about a case are encouraged to follow up with the reporting agency or court system for the most current information.

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