A high-speed chase ended early Monday morning with a car crashing into a Killeen apartment and causing a fire that left 16 people homeless.
Killeen police arrested a 36-year-old woman in connection with the chase, which began after police received a call of a disturbance at 3 a.m. Monday. Police have not identified the woman, pending formal charges from the Bell County District Attorney’s Office.
Police responded to a call of a female breaking windows at a residence in the 2000 block of Coach Drive. When an officer arrived, the woman ran toward a Chevrolet Malibu, jumped inside and sped off, Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Carroll Smith said.
Officers followed the woman as she drove from Coach Drive to Shoemaker Drive. She turned off the lights of her car on Shoemaker Drive in an apparent attempt to elude capture.
That may have contributed to the crash. When the driver came to the intersection of Lake Road, she ran a stop sign and headed across the street straight into a small apartment building.
The Malibu went through the front of one apartment, into its living room and partially destroyed a wall shared by a neighboring apartment. Smith said several occupants were in the living room when the crash occurred, but none were injured.
The front end of the Malibu caught fire, causing further damage to the vehicle. As firefighters responded, the female driver remained trapped inside her car.
Authorities removed her before the fire entered the cabin of the vehicle. She sustained a broken ankle from the initial crash.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about 15 minutes, according to a news release from KPD. The female suspect was then taken to Scott & White Hospital in Temple.
Sixteen residents were displaced by the fire and crash and received assistance from the Red Cross.
A Red Cross official said the occupants of two apartments will be able to return to their homes Wednesday after electricity is reconnected. The residents of the two apartments directly affected by the crash will likely have to seek new homes.