OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Police Department officials released the collision report on a crash that occurred during a police chase and resulted in the death of a local mother last week.
Star Devione Shells, 28, of Oklahoma City died from injuries she suffered when 38-year-old Wacey Gerron Mikles crashed a black 2021 Ford F350 pickup he allegedly stole into Shells’ white 2009 Chevrolet Impala at North Martin Luther King Avenue and Northeast 16th Street at 8:06 a.m. on May 24.
Mikles was being chased by Oklahoma City police when the crash occurred.
A man called police and reported that a man hopped into his running pickup and drove off. The caller told authorities he could track his pickup with his cell phone and provided real time updates of its location.
Police caught up to the stolen pickup and pursued the suspect.
The collision report states that Mikles was attempting to elude officers, heading south in the inside lane of North Martin Luther King, approaching a red light at Northeast 16th Street.
Shells was traveling east on NE 16th, moving forward through a green light.
Mikles swerved left and hit the brakes to avoid crashing into Shells’ vehicle, but the right front end of the pickup crashed into the driver side of the Impala, according to the report.
The impact caused the Impala to rotate in a clockwise direction. A second impact then occurred, with the pickup’s passenger side and the Impala’s driver side colliding.
The second impact sent the Impala 399 feet south and east, crashing into a curb. The impala traveled 48 more feet south and came to rest.
The stolen pickup came to rest 200 feet south of initial impact.
Police took Mikles into custody.
Shells had just dropped her two sons off at John Rex Elementary when she was killed in the crash.
Her family and people on social media criticized Oklahoma City police for chasing the suspect when tracking information was available to locate the pickup at a later time.
“I don’t understand. Why you just didn’t stop? I mean, you knew where this car was going,” said Shells’ aunt.
Andrew Scott, an expert witness consultant on police practices and procedures, told KFOR last week that officers “should only engage in a pursuit when it’s justified to use deadly force. Beyond that, let the individual flee. They already had this individual tracked.”
KFOR reached out to Police Department officials for a comment, but were directed to their pursuit policy, which is as follows:
“Effort should be made to avoid pursuits due to the extreme danger present in such activity. Officers shall consider the risk to the public (and themselves) in any pursuit. Officers of the department must balance the need for immediate apprehension of the suspect with the need to protect the public from the danger caused by the pursuit. All officers are reminded that their basic responsibility is to protect the public. When the danger of a pursuit exceeds the value of an immediate apprehension, public safety shall be paramount and require alternative methods of apprehension.”
A GoFundMe account was set up to help take care of Shells’ two sons.