A crowbar, a pickup, a deadly police chase

Chad Anderson remembers seeing the pickup and thinking something didn't look right.

The next 24 hours for the Charlotte native are only images. Back of the ambulance. Hospital gurney. Intensive care unit.

It was August 2005. Cabarrus County Sheriff's deputies said they spotted two men using a crowbar to break into a vending machine.

They chased the suspects, who officers said were driving a stolen pickup. They pursued them all the way into Charlotte, where they slammed into Anderson at a stoplight.

Anderson, now 32, was sitting at the light on his motorcycle. His friend Nicola Richardson was nestled on the seat behind him.

The crash killed Richardson and left Anderson with a long recovery. He broke his arm, his ribs, his pelvis, both collar bones, both ankles, six fingers and eight toes. It took him a year of rehab to recover.

“I was pretty torn up,” he said. “But you can't get out of the way of life. Things happen. You just have to trust that.”

Other crashes that followed police pursuits:

In June 1995, a 13-year-old trying to elude police in a stolen Jeep in Charlotte struck and fatally injured a woman waiting at a bus stop.

In Kannapolis in 1995, a 13-year-old died after leading police on a 100 mph chase and crashing into a median.

In Charlotte in 1996, two bystanders stopped at a traffic light in uptown Charlotte died when a suspect rammed into their car during a chase by N.C. Highway Patrol troopers.

In Rock Hill in 1997, police violated their chase policy by pursuing two 14-year-old girls at 100 mph.

In 2000, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chased 21-year-old Lee Taylor Farrar, who ran a red light in west Charlotte and broadsided another car, killing the two men inside.

On Dec. 29, 2004, seven Statesville teenagers died in a crash as they sped away from police. The seven had taken a car for a joyride and were chased at speeds exceeding 100 mph. The Troutman police officer involved was cleared of any wrongdoing.

In February 2007, an illegal immigrant suspected of driving while impaired fled Salisbury police and crashed into 20-year-old Leeanna Newman of Salisbury. The wreck killed Newman and her unborn baby. Clay Barbour