Two people died and a 12-year-old boy was injured in downtown Shelby Saturday afternoon when their Ford Taurus was struck by a car fleeing from police, authorities said.
The boy is not the child of the couple killed, but is related to them, said Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford, who did not identify any of the victims. It appears the boy was ejected from the Taurus through a side window, Ledford said, and was taken first to Cleveland Regional Medical Center, then transferred to Carolinas Medical Center.
Police charged the driver of the other car, Demetrist Lendell Roberts, 34, of Shelby, with two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of felony death by vehicle, driving while impaired, felony speed to elude arrest, driving while license revoked and speeding.
Authorities described the incident: Shortly after 1 p.m., Shelby police spotted a Buick LeSabre that appeared to be speeding on Dixon Boulevard. When an officer tried to stop the vehicle, it turned onto Marion Street. The officer began pursuit, then stopped because of both car and foot traffic.
The Buick ran a red light at Lafayette Street and hit the Ford’s passenger door, police said. Roberts fled on foot, Ledford said, but was caught and subdued by two out-of-town off-duty police officers.
The area was crowded with visitors to an arts show, European car show and farmers’ market. The accident also occurred about one mile from the Foothills Merry Go Round Festival, Ledford said.
Roberts was being held at Cleveland County Detention Center without bond.