published Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Cleveland woman killed by fleeing driver

A Cleveland woman was killed early Saturday morning when a driver fleeing police crashed head-on into her car.

Cleveland police attempted to stop Dennis Orlando Cruz, 24, around 3 a.m. Saturday. He refused to stop and instead sped north on Georgetown Road, the Tennesee Highway Patrol accident report states. Cruz crossed the center line and struck a 2000 Ford Escort driven by Holli J. Hough, 46. She was killed.

Evie West, public information officer for the Cleveland Police Department, said police were not actively pursuing Cruz at the time of the crash.

“Our officers attempted to stop the van and he failed to stop,” she said. “Because we have a no-pursuit policy in the city, we are not allowed to pursue unless it is a violent felony.”

According to the accident report, Cruz was drinking at the time of the crash and was not wearing a seat belt. He was not injured.

A passenger Hough’s vehicle, James Alton Hughes III, 34, was injured. Neither Hough nr Hughes was wearing seat belts, the report states.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has charged Dennis Orlando Cruz with vehicular homicide and criminal simulation. Additional charges may be placed by Cleveland Police Department.

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