Robbery suspect from Leeds dies after multi-county chase with deputies


JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT)- A 21-year-old robbery suspect died from injuries sustained from leading several law enforcement agencies on a lengthy, high-speed chase after 10 p.m. Friday night.

Zamiel Crawford, from Leeds, led Jefferson and Tuscaloosa County deputies on the chase that started in Leeds where police pursued him after they were notified of a robbery.

Crawford travelled west through Irondale on I-20 toward Birmingham. He continued south on I-59 through Birmingham where deputies tried to put down spike strips near the Arkadelphia Road exit. The chased passed the deputies upon arrival to deploy the strips; they joined the chase that continued south through Birmingham and Bessemer on I-59 with speeds reaching between 75 and 80 miles per hour.

The pursuit eventually crossed into Tuscaloosa County where the suspect rammed his Chevrolet Tahoe into the sheriff’s deputies patrol car. At mile marker 96, the suspect rammed his vehicle into the patrol car again after which he lost control of the car and hit a median wall. The chase continued but at a rate of 20 miles per hour. Officials say the suspect ran his vehicle into the patrol car a third time before coming to a rest after spinning out coming to rest against a median wall.

Deputies ordered Crawford out of the vehicle, but the door of the vehicle was damaged and had to be forced open. It was discovered that he hand a loaded handgun. Paramedics were called to the crash site to check for injuries. Crawford was taken to DCH Hospital in Tuscaloosa where he was pronounced dead.

Crawford had an outstanding warrant in Jefferson County for Robbery 1st Degree with a weapon.

The patrol deputy whose car was rammed was injured during the chase. He was transported to UAB in Birmingham with an injured shoulder.

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