Murder charge for man accused of running stop signs, causing fatal accident

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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office charged a 22-year-old man who allegedly attempted to flee the scene of a fatal accident in north city.

According to Sgt. Keith Barrett, a spokesman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the accident happened Thursday just after 11 a.m. near the intersection of Natural Bridge and Fair avenues.

Traveon Smith

Police said they were attempting to pull over a convertible for multiple traffic offenses. The driver, identified as Traveon Smith, sped off, running red lights on city streets and driving the wrong way at speeds of at least 70 miles an hour.

Smith allegedly slammed into an SUV, killing 68-year-old Joseph Powell. Three other people in Smith's car were also injured -- two adults and Smith's 7-month-old son.

Smith left them all and ran off on foot to hide in a vacant building three blocks away on Lexington. Police said Smith lost a shoe as he ran. A police dog picked up his scent from the shoe and tracked him down.

On Friday, prosecutors charged the driver of the convertible, Traveon Smith, with one count of second-degree murder, armed criminal action, endangering the welfare of a child, and leaving the scene of an accident.

The passengers in Smith's car remain hospitalized. He’s being held without bond.

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