ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) - Two children and two women in a vehicle were struck during a police chase at the East Terminal (Terminal 2) of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. In all, seven people were taken to the hospital.
The incident happened just after 9:45 a.m.
According to Cpl. Tameika Sanders, a spokeswoman for the Normandy Police Department, an officer was conducting routine traffic duty along westbound Interstate 70 when he observed a grey Toyota RAV4 commit a moving violation. The officer received information that the RAV4 had been stolen in an armed carjacking from St. Louis City around 3:05 a.m. and began a pursuit to stop the vehicle. The RAV4 exited I-70 at the airport and struck a bystander vehicle occupied by two women and two boys, ages 5 and 9.
All of the crash victims were taken to the hospital. A 9-year-old boy in the back seat of the bystander vehicle was said to be in critical unstable condition. A 5-year-old was listed in critical but stable condition. Police said the driver, a 30-year-old woman, was in critical but stable condition; she may have broken bones. The front passenger, a 28-year-old woman, suffered cuts and bruises from the crash.
Three juveniles were arrested at the scene: 16-year-old male driver, a 15-year-old male passenger, and a 15-year-old female passenger. Police thought they found a firearm inside the RAV4. Investigators later determined that handgun was a replica. The three suspects were taken to a hospital as a precaution. The female did suffer a laceration to her face.
The Normandy police officer involved in the pursuit has been with the department for four years.
The eastbound and westbound lanes of Lambert International Boulevard were closed for at least 90 minutes. As a result, shuttle buses were stuck at the airport and travelers could not get to and from the terminal by vehicle. Passengers had to be let out blocks away from the airport and walk to Terminal 2 with their luggage.
St. Louis Airport created a detour to Terminal 2 drop-offs and pick-ups via the 'arrivals lanes' on the lower level.
Meanwhile, Metro offered free rides from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 to help passengers until all lanes could be reopened and traffic returned to normal.
Southwest and Frontier airlines operate out of the Terminal 2. According to airport spokesman Jeff Lea, approximately 17,000 to 18,000 passengers move in and out of Terminal 2 on any given day.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol initially reported one of the children died as a result of the crash. However, authorities later corrected that information, saying the child was given life-saving treatment at the scene and rushed to a hospital.
St. Louis County police are now investigating the pursuit.