2 men dead after leading police on pursuit in stolen car then crashing

Two dead after police chase ends in crash

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Two men are dead and two other people are recovering in the hospital after an early morning police chase that ended in a crash in Hernando, Mississippi.

This guardrail on Interstate 55 shows the impact and damage from the crash which occurred around 4 a.m. Saturday.

The Hernando Police Department says their officers tried to pull over a stolen maroon Nissan Maxima when the driver entered I-55 Southbound on the Commerce Street off ramp. They say the car was going the wrong way on the interstate for a mile before fatally crashing.

“It's highly emotional. I don't want to hear anyone losing their life. That's terrible. Especially… well anyone losing their life,” said Richard Healy, neighbor.

The DeSoto County coroner says two 20-year-old men died in the crash, Kristopher Ford and Jessie White.

Richard Healy has lived on Nichols Drive in Southaven for 18 years. It’s a place he describes as quiet, and a great neighborhood to raise a family. However, they've had problems lately.

“I leave my door unlocked sometimes, but I never felt threatened. But now it's a different story,” said Healy.

Multiple neighbors told us there's been several nights in recent weeks where crooks have stolen items out of cars.

“They're going through cars, finding cars that are left unlocked, going in taking whatever they can see quickly and then leave,” said Healy.

The DeSoto County Sheriff's Office posted a warning on Facebook about an increase in auto burglaries, saying the incidents are happening all over the county.

According to the DeSoto Times Tribune, the Hernando Police Department connected the stolen Maxima to an auto theft on Nichols Drive July 16.

It was around that time that Healy had a gun stolen from his truck.

“That was my irresponsibility. I carry a weapon for work purposes and for protection and I normally just bring it in every night, and that one night that I wasn't thinking straight and I just left it there and that's the night they decided to hit the neighborhood,” said Healy.

Now he's being more cautious.

“Camera systems are in place and a totally different mindset these days,” said Healy.

The crash caused the interstate to be closed for several hours.

No Hernando police officers or other drivers were injured during the chase.

This is still an open investigation.

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