A West Perrine woman was killed Monday when a suspect fleeing police slammed into her vehicle.
Monica Patterson, 55, the mother of five, was a passenger in the car, Miami-Dade police said. She died blocks from her home. The driver of the red Ford Taurus, a 51-year-old female, remains in critical condition at the Kendall Regional Trauma Center.
The suspect behind the wheel of the black SUV that struck the women remains at large.
Minutes before the violent collision, Miami-Dade police said the suspect was speeding from detectives who had just tried to question him as part of a robbery detail. But witnesses told CBS4 that unmarked police cars were chasing the SUV without sirens.
Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabalata told reporters at the scene of the crash, “investigators do not believe any type of pursuit was going on prior to the accident.”
In a news release issued at 10:30 p.m. Monday, police maintained the detectives were not chasing the suspect.
Patterson’s death is now being investigated by the department’s traffic homicide unit.
Here’s what police say led to the tragedy:
At around noon Monday, robbery intervention detail detectives were patrolling a Southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood when they spotted a suspicious black GMC Denali.
As they tried to approach the SUV, the driver sped off and detectives lost sight of the vehicle. Moments later, detectives said they heard a loud crash and found the same vehicle had been involved in a violent crash with innocent passersby, according to the news release.
Patterson was killed in the impact.
The suspect bailed. A perimeter was set up but the suspect managed to evade it.
According to witnesses to the crash, the suspect’s vehicle had been traveling southbound on Southwest 105th Avenue at a high rate of speed and the victim was car was westbound on 176th Street. The suspect ran a stop sign and struck the victim’s vehicle on the passenger side, where Patterson was sitting.
Patterson’s sister, Sonia Hanson told CBS4, her sister had just turned 55.
Relatives said Patterson most recently worked as a house keeper and was dealing with health issues.
Her son, Tim Patterson, wants answers: “To me, the right question that needs to be asked is why were there no sirens?”
Miami Herald news partner CBS4 contributed to this report.