By Chris Hagan
Review Staff Writer
A 75-year-old Independence Township man was killed after his vehicle was struck by a motorist attempting to flee from Sheriffs deputies following a prescription fraud arrest on Thursday.
Deputies responded to a report of prescription fraud at the CVS Pharmacy in the 3400 block of Baldwin Road around 7:45 p.m last Thursday, July 7. Deputies arrested a 22-year-old male from Pontiac while deputies outside noticed a 2008 Chevrolet Suburban fleeing from the parking lot.
Deputies pursued the vehicle, which was registered as stolen out of Pontiac, and attempted to make a traffic stop but the Suburban fled.
“We began to follow it, then activated lights and siren to stop the suspect vehicle which was involved in the fraud of pharmaceuticals,” Oakland County Sherriff Orion Substation Commander Lieutenant Dan Toth said.
The Suburban, which was carrying four occupants, traveled east on Waldon for about two miles before making a U-turn in the roadway to go west. It approached Baldwin Road at the same time a 1999 Chevrolet Express van was approaching the same intersection traveling northbound on Baldwin.
According to Toth, the Suburban ran a red light and collided with the passenger side of the van. The vehicles hit with such force the van’s engine separated from the vehicle and came to rest at least 50 feet away.
“The pursuit lasted about three minutes. About the time he picked up speed, he entered the intersection on a red light. It ran the red light and struck a northbound vehicle broadside,” Toth said.
Toth said the driver, Rashed Brown, a 30-year-old resident of Pontiac, has an extensive criminal history dating back 11 years.
The driver of the van, 75-year-old Reo Dockter of Independence Township, was pinned inside the van and firefighters rapidly removed him, started CPR and he was transported to McLaren Oakland Hospital (MOH) in Pontiac where he died a short time later.
Only one of the occupants in the Suburban was wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision and one was ejected from the vehicle.
Brown was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered serious injuries. He was also transported to MOH where he remains hospitalized for injuries incurred in the crash. He was arrested for fleeing and eluding causing death, prescription fraud and receiving and concealing stolen property (the Suburban).
According to Toth, Brown was arraigned Tuesday via video conferencing at the 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills by Judge Julie Nicholson. He was charged with one count of Homicide Murder – Second Degree and one count of Police Officer – Fleeing – First Degree. The charges are punishable by up to a life term and 15 years respectively.
Brown was denied bond. The next court date is July 26 at 10 a.m. for a probable cause conference. Another court date is set for Aug. 2 at 8:30 a.m. for a preliminary exam. Both court dates will be held at the 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills.
According to Toth, additional charges are pending related to the stolen vehicle, stolen plate and lab results.
The other occupants in the Suburban included a 20-year woman, a 20-year-old man, and an 18-year-old woman. The 20-year-old woman was the only one wearing a seat belt but all suffered serious injuries and have since been released from the hospital.
The Crash Reconstruction Unit had the intersection closed until early morning hours on Friday and then returned later that afternoon for an additional investigation.
“We all are very moved by this tragic and senseless crime and we have remained in contact with the family of the deceased family as they mourn the loss of their loved one,” said Toth.
The crash remains under investigation.
By Chris Hagan