What police say caused fiery crash that killed 1, injured 6, including 3 officers, in Detroit

Man in 20s killed; 3 officers, 3 others taken to hospital

An SUV involved in a fatal Jan. 21, 2023, crash on Woodhall Street in Detroit. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Police have revealed more details about what caused a crash that left one person dead and six others -- including three officers -- injured in Detroit over the weekend.

The crash happened Saturday (Jan. 21) on Woodhall Street near Linville Avenue on Detroit’s east side.

Detroit police Chief James White said during a Monday briefing that officers saw a 2020 Dodge Durango going over 60 mph in a 25 mph zone on Woodhall Street near Chandler Park Drive.

Moments later, the driver of the Durango says, he was cut off by another vehicle. He over-corrected to avoid that vehicle and crashed into a tree, according to police.

The scene of a Jan. 21, 2023, crash on Woodhall Street in Detroit. (WDIV)

“This happened within seconds of (officers) seeing the vehicle speeding,” White said.

The collision caused the Durango to instantly catch fire, authorities said.

“Six officers arrived on the scene pretty quickly,” White said. “Despite the fire, they helped the Detroit Fire Department rescue three of the four occupants.”

The front-seat passenger, a man in his early 20s, died from his crash injuries, White said.

Three officers were inured due to broken glass and smoke inhalation, DPD Commanding Officer Brian Harris said. They were taken to a nearby hospital in temporary serious condition.

Three others from inside the Durango, ages 22 to 30 years old, were also taken to a nearby hospital. They are listed in conditions ranging from serious to temporary serious.

“I reviewed the video personally,” White said. “There was no pursuit. This car was flying through the neighborhoods. ... We are confident it was not a chase. We’re a transparent agency -- if it were a chase, we would say it was a chase.”

Assistant Detroit police Chief Charles Fitzgerald said Saturday that the Durango had been reported earlier for doing spin-outs, drifting, and performing other “reckless” stunts.

As of Saturday, charges were pending further investigation.

Here is White’s full briefing from Monday:

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.