Man, Teen Die in Flaming Wreck After Fleeing Toms River Cops
LAKEWOOD — A man who was a suspect in a shooting crashed his car into a tree after fleeing police on Thursday evening.
The driver, Rynell Bennett, 29, of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, and a 16-year-old male passenger from Gloucester Township were pronounced dead at the scene where their car burst into flames.
Moments earlier, Bennett had sped from an attempted stop by Toms River police on Massachusetts Avenue after his 2016 red Ford Focus came up as having been involved in a shooting incident in Lakewood earlier in the day, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.
Bennett also came up as having a suspended license and he was not wearing a seat belt.
The vehicle then ran a red light at Massachusetts Avenue and Route 70.
Toms River police Officer Kyle Lamar was concerned about the impact upon public safety and broke off the pursuit as Bennett continued speeding north into Lakewood, according to Coronato.
Rules governing police pursuits require officers to end high-speed chases when continuing them could endanger the public.
The officer followed behind at a slower speed and found Bennett's car on fire against a tree at the intersection of Cross Street, officials said Friday.
Toms River Officer Thomas Elwood helped Lamar rescue Bennett from the car and drag him across the street and administer CPR.
Investigators believe Bennett lost control of his sedan after running a second red light at Massachusetts Avenue and Cross Street. He veered across the road into a wooded area on the southbound side and hit the tree, Coronato said.
The prosecutor did not release any details about the Lakewood shooting.