Chase ends in fatal crash

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 23, 2007

AHOSKIE – One man is dead and two others were injured after the vehicle they occupied crashed early Sunday morning on the heels of a pursuit initiated by the Ahoskie Police Department.

North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Lane reported that Hassan S. Shoulars, a 31-year-old New Jersey native who had moved to Rich Square, was killed after being ejected from a 2003 Ford Mustang that was attempting to elude Ahoskie Police Officer Dan Flores.

The accident, which occurred shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday along a stretch of NC 561 near Tri-County Airport, also injured Rhakeem Jamal McCallister, 32, of Rich Square and 26-year-old Jermaine Josephus Fennell of Ahoskie. Both were ejected from the vehicle.

The two injured men were airlifted by EastCare to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville where Fennell was listed in critical condition. A hospital spokesperson said there was no information available on McCallister’s condition.

Sgt. Lane said the results of his preliminary investigation revealed Officer Flores, in his Ahoskie patrol vehicle, was traveling east on NC 561 on Sunday morning. He observed a gray Ford Mustang traveling west on NC 561 at 61 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Officer Flores turned to pursue the vehicle, which came to a stop at the intersection of NC 561 and NC 11. As Officer Flores was calling in the license plate information on the Mustang, the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed, traveling through the red traffic signal at the intersection.

Sgt. Lane added that the information radioed in by Officer Flores listed the vehicle as stolen on Feb. 17 in Franklin, Va.

Officer Flores pursued the vehicle west on NC 561. Approximately one-half mile before reaching Tri-County Airport, the vehicle crossed the centerline, ran off the left side of the road, struck a ditchbank and rolled over several times.

“Since all three men we not wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the vehicle, we are still investigating on who was driving,” Lane said.

Shoulars’ death was the seventh traffic fatality in the Highway Patrol’s Troop A, District II area (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties) thus far this year. Four of those deaths have been in Hertford County.