Fatal crash in Lakewood after high-speed getaway — video
TOMS RIVER — Video showing a police pursuit that turned deadly minutes after police stopped the chase was released by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
Rynell Bennett, 29, of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, had to be pulled from a 2016 Red Ford Focus on June 7 after he crashed into a tree along Massachusetts Avenue in Lakewood. Bennett and a 16-year-old passenger from Gloucester were pronounced dead at the scene.
A law enforcement source identified the teen as Devine Askew to the Courier-Post.
The 10-minute dash cam video, released unedited except for captions added by the Prosecutor's Office, shows Bennett speeding away from a Toms River police vehicle that stopped behind him at a red light on Whitesville Road and Route 70.
The Toms River police officer pursued Bennett believing he had been involved in a shooting in Lakewood earlier in the day.
Bennett cuts through a gas station parking lot and speeds east onto Route 70 with the officer, Kyle Lamar, following behind.
Bennett turns onto Massachusetts Avenue heading north and continues speeding. He pulls far ahead of the cop, who slows down, turns off his emergency lights but continues north. About two minutes later, the officers comes upon a crash scene involving Bennett's car along side the road.
A man who is already on scene runs to the police vehicle seeking help. Lamar returns to his vehicle for his fire extinguisher as other Toms River police officers arrive. Smoke can be seen rising and getting heavier.
Lamar and another officer lift one man from the Ford and carry him across the street. EMTs arrive to tend to to the victim as the Ford becomes engulfed in flames.
Bennett's speed reached 112 mph during the pursuit and struck the tree at 85 mph, according to data from the vehicle obtained by investigators.
Story continues after the video
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said the video was released in accordance with a request from Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal asking all law enforcement to "become more transparent in assuring the public we serve that appropriate and justified actions are taken by an agency and it's members."
The prosecutor said he hoped the video would "serve to educate others to the tragic outcome eluding and excessive speed present on local roads."