Officer, suspect die in head-on crash in suburban St. Louis

Dec 2, 2021, 7:01 AM | Updated: 11:29 am

St. Louis County police security officers Brittany Billington and Marshall Thompson lower a flag outside county police headquarters in Clayton, Mo., on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in memory of county police officer Antonio Valentine. The St. Louis County police detective died in the line of duty and a suspect he was trying to stop also died in a head-on collision of their vehicles. The crash happened Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in north St. Louis County after officers with the department’s drug unit tried to stop a car that had been reported stolen, police said. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

(Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS, Mo. (AP) — A police detective and a suspect died in a head-on collision of their vehicles near St. Louis following a police attempt to stop the suspect’s car, authorities said.

The crash happened Wednesday afternoon after officers with the St. Louis County Police Department’s drug unit tried to stop a car that had been reported stolen, and the car fled, police said.

An unmarked police vehicle driven by Detective Antonio Valentine was traveling eastbound toward the scene of the attempted stop when the suspect’s speeding westbound car crossed the centerline and collided with Valentine’s vehicle in Bellefontaine Neighbors, a suburb just north of St. Louis, officials said.

Both Valentine and the suspect were rushed to a hospital, where they died. Police on Thursday identified the driver of the other car as Alfred Mayes, 33, of St. Louis County.

Another detective who had been riding with Valentine also was injured and was treated and released from a hospital, police said.

Valentine, 42, had been with the department since 2007 and had recently been assigned to the Bureau of Drug Enforcement, police said. He was an Army combat veteran of Iraq and had recently retired from the Air Force Reserve.

___

This story has been corrected to indicate that police said they didn’t chase the suspect after he fled the traffic stop, and to correct the name of the department to St. Louis County Police Department.

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Officer, suspect die in head-on crash in suburban St. Louis