Woman dies after speeding car hits tree in Edmonton

A woman passenger died after a suspected stolen car sped away from a police stop and hit a tree in north Edmonton on Monday morning.

A woman passenger died after a suspected stolen car sped away from a police stop and hit a tree in north Edmonton on Monday morning.

Officers stopped the car just after 9 a.m. after they were notified by GM Onstar about a stolen 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix with Saskatchewan licence plates, police said. Onstar uses GPS to locate vehicles and alert local authorities.

When the officers approached the car, the driver took off, police said.

Shortly afterward, the car clipped another vehicle driving along 118th Avenue, spun out of control and slammed into a tree near 55th Street and 118th Avenue.

The female passenger died in hospital as a result of her injuries, police said. The male driver and a male in the back seat were taken to hospital with undetermined injuries.

On Monday afternoon, Edmonton police announced Chief Mike Boyd has asked the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team [ASIRT] to investigate the events leading up to the collision.

ASIRT is an independent civilian agency that investigates all incidents in Alberta involving police that result in death or serious injury

Howard Weir was driving along 118th Avenue when he saw the Grand Prix heading towards him. It had veered around a vehicle that was sticking out on 54th Street.

"I was eastbound and I tried to swerve to get out of his way and he clipped the back end of my car,"  he said.   

Weir said his car spun around and came to rest.  He was able to walk away and counted himself lucky he avoided serious injury or death.

"If I hadn't have moved, it would have been a head-on collision with mine," he said.

Police said while the officers briefly turned on the cruiser's lights and sirens, the officers did not chase the stolen vehicle.

"We weren't in active pursuit," said Insp. Greg Alcorn of Edmonton police. He said officers learned about the collision from a different cruiser that happened on the scene.

Police have not yet determined whether the car was stolen in the city, or taken in Saskatchewan and driven to Edmonton, Alcorn said.