Three people were taken to the hospital, two with life-threatening injuries, following a three-vehicle crash involving a reportedly stolen pickup near Interstate 40 on Thursday afternoon, according to the Amarillo Police Department.
At 1:59 p.m., officers were dispatched to the collision at West I-40 frontage road and South Crockett Street. A 22-year-old man was driving a 2008 silver Toyota Tacoma, the reported stolen vehicle, eastbound on I-40's south frontage road at a high rate of speed. The police stated he disregarded a stop sign for eastbound traffic and struck a 2016 Toyota Highlander driven by a 76-year-old man and a 2012 Toyota Tundra driven by a 35-year-old man.
The Tundra was knocked sideways and rolled on the grassy median striking a tree, APD reported. The driver of the Tundra was taken to a local area hospital with life-threatening injuries. A child passenger was taken to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of the Tacoma was transported to a local area hospital also with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Highlander was uninjured.
Before the crash, an APD officer in an unmarked white Ford Taurus police vehicle, which was equipped with an interior light bar, was driving eastbound on I-40 at Georgia Street, the police stated. The officer observed the Tacoma approaching "very quickly and recklessly." In an attempt to get the driver to slow down before the construction zone, the officer activated the emergency lights on the vehicle.
The driver of the Tacoma then exited the highway across the grass median toward the south frontage road. The officer lost sight of the driver due to traffic on the highway and did not initiate a pursuit, according to APD.
Officers later discovered the Tacoma had been reported stolen earlier in the day from a motel in the 3600 block of Amarillo Boulevard East, the police stated. Speed and narcotics use have been determined as factors in the collision, the police said. The incident is being investigated by the APD's Traffic Investigation Squad.