Woman killed in Redford Township crash

Livonia police say 1 vehicle was driven by suspect in home invasion

REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A man who was wanted in connection with a home invasion Monday morning in Livonia ended up crashing into a woman's car at 6 Mile and Beech Daly roads in Redford Township.

That 26-year-old Royal Oak woman, Fransesca Weatherhead, was killed in the crash after her minivan was broadsided and flipped.

Livonia police said one of their officers was trying to catch up to the Ford SUV, with the driver suspected of being involved in the home invasion around 10:10 a.m. in the 15000 block of Shadyside.

"What do you do? What are you supposed to do?" said Kristina Vitale, Weatherhead's sister. "I love my sister so much. I hate the person who did this to her. It's very unfair."

Kristina and Nina Vitale said they are mourning their sister.

"She was an amazing person," Nina said. "(It's) sad her life got taken away so soon. (She was) just married for a year, just bought a house and was trying to have a baby. She was so ambitious, kind, beautiful -- so beautiful inside and out."

Weatherhead was a sales manager for a local tobacco distribution center. Her job caused her to travel quite a bit. She was working Monday morning, driving in Redford Township, when she was broadsided by the man who was allegedly fleeing police.

"Why her? Why?" said Kristina Vitale. "Why can somebody who's fleeing from the law, why couldn't they be the one that got hurt? She was innocent, just doing her job. I'm very grateful that the last thing I said to my sis was that I loved her."

Livonia police released this statement:

"A suspect and vehicle description was given by a witness as the suspect fled the scene. A Livonia patrol officer, in a marked scout car, observed a suspect and vehicle matching the description, east on 6 Mile just west of Inkster Road. The officer attempted to catch up to the car, but it fled east on 6 Mile. Seconds later, the vehicle was involved in a traffic crash at 6 Mile and Beech Daly in Redford Township. There was a fatality and a non-life threatening injury as a result of the crash. A suspect is in custody. He has a criminal history of past home invasions."

"One vehicle was eastbound, one vehicle was northbound. We have one subject injured and we have one fatality at the scene," said Redford Township police Lt. Dwayne Gregg. "Other than that, the investigation is ongoing."

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