The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office released the name of the final victim of a fiery, high-speed, wrong way collision during a police pursuit on Interstate 10 last month. According to a news release this afternoon, the third and final fatality in the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu has been identified as Payton Leigh Northcutt, 25, of Leesville, Lousiana.
The car was being pursued by an unmarked BSCO SUV after a deputy attempted to stop the vehicle for swerving. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency previously identified 26-year-old Dominic Scotti Garcia Jr. of San Antonio, Texas as the driver and 34-year-old Crystal Lee Moradie of Converse, Texas as another passenger in the car.
After the pursuit began on eastbound I-10 near the mile 49 marker, the suspect vehicle accelerated in an attempt to outrun the deputy, exiting I-10 at the Wilcox exit and reentering the interstate westbound. Reaching the Baldwin Beach Express, the vehicle then briefly exited the interstate and went southbound before making a U-turn and reentering the interstate westbound.
The deputy continued to try to stop the vehicle as it continued westbound. The suspect vehicle did a U-turn on the interstate and drove eastbound in the westbound lane at a high rate of speed. The deputy lost sight of the suspect vehicle as it continued to drive into oncoming traffic. Moments later, the suspect impacted a 2018 Ford Escape that was traveling westbound head-on, killing both the driver and passenger of the second vehicle.
Joseph L. Andrews, 81, of St. Simons Island, Georgia, was injured and airlifted to University Hospital in Mobile, where he died the next day. His son, Kevin J. Andrews, 54, of Milton, Florida, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Questions were raised about whether the deputy followed policy in initiating or continuing the pursuit and Sheriff Hoss Mack said he expected to release the findings of an internal investigation after all victims were identified. Identification was delayed by forensic analysis; all the victims in the Malibu had been burned beyond recognition. This story will be updated as it develops.
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