HIGH POINT, N.C. — A police chase through High Point ended with a woman dead, another woman in critical condition and the suspect facing a murder charge, according to police.
Thursday night, an officer was patrolling through the 100 block of Gordon Street when he saw a white Chevrolet Impala with a 30-day temporary registration plate cross the yellow line on the road and nearly hit an oncoming car.
The officer followed the car and saw the driver cross the white fog line on the right side of the road.
Believing the driver was impaired, the officer turned on his blue lights at about 9:39 p.m.
The Impala then sped up and ran a red light at the intersection of University Parkway and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, prompting the officer to give chase.
A second officer joined the pursuit as police followed the Impala for another half block. Police say they were stopping for red lights and checking for oncoming traffic at intersections.
Police said the Impala hit speeds as high as 90 mph approaching North Centennial Street.
Near North Centennial, the Impala crossed the median and drove west into oncoming traffic on the eastbound lanes on East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, cutting between two cars.
The officers pursued in the westbound lanes.
The car then hit a silver sedan head-on at 9:40 p.m. at the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and North Hamilton Street, causing significant damage to the front ends of both cars.
Officers tried to help the driver of the sedan, but 43-year-old Karolyn L. Chambers, of High Point, died at the scene.
“When I see my mamma’s car broke . . . just so smashed,” is how Karolyn’s daughter Britnae described the crash site.
She had spoken to her mother 20 minutes before the crash. Karolyn had called to tell her that her brother was going to pick her up from work.
Britnae and her brother Brandon drove by their mother’s mangled car and did not realize that it was her involved in the crash.
“I was in my room,” Britnae said at the time officers came by to inform her of her mother’s death.
“She just be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Brandon said of his mother’s death. “It just happened to her. My mother wasn’t doing something illegal. She was just sitting at the light actually obeying the law…she was hit head on.”
The two said the crash has caused a ripple in their family.
Brandon said he and his sister’s future children have been robbed of a grandmother.
“All they can live off of is stories and pictures,” he said.
At the crash site, responders tried to help the driver of the Impala, but police say he physically resisted.
Anthony D. Tate, 33, of Greensboro, was taken to the hospital in police custody.
A passenger in the Impala, a 31-year-old woman from High Point, was brought to the hospital in critical condition.
Officers later found out that Tate was not supposed to be on the road. His license was suspended after he was previously caught driving while impaired.
He also has a long history of past traffic troubles.
In 2004, he was found guilty for refusing to pull over for a traffic stop. Police later found he was impaired and before the wheel. Tate has also had his license revoked several times and has been arrested for still driving.
In this latest crime, Tate has been charged with second-degree murder, felony death by motor vehicle, felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while license revoked, driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, aggravated felony speeding to elude arrest and several other traffic violations. He was given a $1 million bond.
The suspect is expected to undergo surgery before being released from the hospital.
Search warrants allowed police to give Tate a blood test. While officers have not gotten the results of this test, they suspect that Tate was under the influence of alcohol based on observation and smell, as well as marijuana which he had on him when he was arrested.
Tate had his first appearance at the hospital Monday and is being held on a $1.25 million bond. The judge said Tate’s bond increase is based on the previous number of driving with a revoked license charges against him and multiple times he has not shown up to court.
Officials said Tate will spend the next several weeks in the hospital and then be sent to Butner for further treatment and rehabilitation.