Florida Man Facing Charges After Ferndale Police Chase Results In Death Of Elderly Woman

The 89-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries Monday morning.

WWJ News
February 17, 2020 - 3:56 pm
Harris Howard

Photo: Ferndale Police Department

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FERNDALE, Mich. (WWJ) -- An 89-year-old woman is dead and a Florida man is facing charges after a police chase ended in a crash Friday night. 

The incident unfolded around 9:15 p.m. Friday when a Ferndale police officer on patrol in the area of 8 Mile and West End Street saw a 2019 black Nissan Pathfinder on westbound 8 Mile traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer paced the vehicle and determined it was being driven at 70 mph in a 40 mph zone.

As the officer activated his emergency lights to stop the vehicle near Livernois, the driver, identified as 26-year-old Harris Howard, initially appeared to be pulling over and even turned on the vehicle’s four-way emergency flashers. Then Howard, who has a Florida address, suddenly drove away from the officer at speeds ranging from the posted speed limit of 40 to in excess of 70 mph. 

Less than a minute later, the Nissan collided with a vehicle occupied by three elderly occupants near 8 Mile and Wyoming in Royal Oak Township, injuring all three of them, as well as a 26-year-old Iowa woman who was riding in Howard's vehicle.

Howard fled the scene on foot but was arrested by Michigan State Police shortly after.

Mary Lackamp, 89, was riding in the front passenger seat of the other vehicle and sustained serious injuries during the collision. She was pronounced dead at 10:39 a.m. Monday morning at Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield.

Police say the driver and rear passenger in the same vehicle were also taken to the same hospital. One of them remains hospitalized, but police did not disclose details about their condition or either victims' age.

The Iowa woman who was a passenger in the suspect's car was listed in serious but stable condition at Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit.

Howard was arraigned Saturday morning in front of 43rd District Court Magistrate Brennan. He was charged with 2nd Degree Fleeing and Eluding and his bond was set at $250,000 cash or surety bond. 

Ferndale police say with Lackamp's death, they will be submitting new information to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office and additional charges could be coming. Pending the issuance of an updated warrant and complaint no further information will be made available, including dash or body worn camera video footage.