BALTIMORE — The Independent Investigations Division (IID) of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General has released police dashboard footage of a high-speed chase that went through a section of Cecil County on northbound Interstate 95 on Dec. 31 and ended near Elkton with a single-vehicle crash that killed the suspect.
The IID released the 11-minute-and-40-second video on Wednesday (Jan. 18), as IID officials had — earlier this month — indicated that they likely would do amid the ongoing investigation into the police chase and fatal crash. Such an investigation is protocol.
The video can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cWC45VdOtM.
Footage was gleaned from the dashboard camera mounted inside the departmental patrol vehicle driven by the pursuing law enforcement officer, Maryland State Police Tfc. Curtis Manuel, a 5 1/2-year MSP veteran who is assigned to the agency’s Field Operations Bureau. (A short section of the video toward the end appears to show footage gleaned from a police body camera.)
The video shows that speeds during the chase, which spanned approximately 10 miles, reached as high as 125 mph. It also shows that the suspect, Julie Clark, 26, of Tenafly, N.J., continued to speed northbound on I-95 — although the emergency lights on the pursuing MSP patrol vehicle had been flashing and the siren had been blaring from the outset.
The footage also shows the suspect’s mangled, burning car on its side after it had struck a tree off an I-95 ramp at the Elkton interchange. In addition, the video shows Manuel attempting to snuff out the flames with a fire extinguisher, after he had radioed fire officials to alert them about the crash and auto fire.
IID agents are continuing to conduct their investigation into the “circumstances leading up to” the fatal crash, the agency reported.
The IID, which is handling the investigation with the assistance of the MSP Crash Team, is asking for the public’s help. Anyone with information that might help in this investigation is asked to contact the IID by phone at (410) 576-7070 or by email at IID@oag.state.md.us.
The incident started at approximately 12:10 p.m. on Dec. 31, when MSP received “multiple 911 reports of a vehicle driving erratically” in the northbound lane of I-95 in Cecil County, an IID spokesperson reported.
Manuel attempted to pull over a vehicle matching the description provided in calls to 911 on northbound I-95, south of the North East/Rising Sun exit, the spokesperson said. The driver of the suspect vehicle failed to stop, however, and the trooper pursued it on northbound I-95 for about 9 miles, the spokesperson added.
“At about mile-marker 108 (near Elkton), the driver lost control of the car on an exit ramp and crashed into a tree. The driver, the sole occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced dead on the scene. No other cars were involved in the crash,” the spokesperson outlined earlier this month.
The dashboard camera and microphone inside the pursuing trooper’s patrol vehicle were activated during the incident, the spokesperson reported.
Steps will be taken to avoid conflicts of interests during this joint investigation by the IID and the MSP Crash Team, according to the spokesperson.
“MSP has issued a protocol for cases that involve MSP personnel. Under those protocols, as soon as practicable after MSP’s initial response, MSP will make every reasonable effort to staff the investigation with MSP personnel who are assigned to a different region of the state. MSP will also conduct a comprehensive inquiry to determine whether any MSP personnel involved in the investigation has a conflict of interest,” the spokesperson said.
Typically, the IID releases body camera footage or dashboard camera footage within 14 days after an incident, the spokesperson reported earlier this month, before qualifying that there are exceptions.
“There may be situations where more than 14 days is necessary, including if investigators need more time to complete witness interviews, if there are technical delays caused by the need to redact the identities of civilian witnesses, or to allow family members to view the video before it is released to the public,” the spokesperson listed.