MILWAUKEE COUNTY — Criminal charges have now been filed against a 16-year-old boy, accused of driving a stolen van, and then crashing that van. There were four other people inside, and one of those people died from injuries suffered in the crash.
The accused is Kemonte Walker of Milwaukee — who has been charged as an adult in this case.
Walker is facing one felony count of fleeing/eluding a traffic officer, resulting in the death of another.
The crash occurred on Sunday, November 1st near 6th and Manitoba.
Milwaukee police said 18-year-old Rashad Higgins died one day later at the hospital — as a result of blunt force injuries to his head and neck.
Police said four young people were taken into custody following the crash — accused of driving the stolen van, sideswiping a patrol car, and eventually crashing that van into a pole.
Officials with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said Higgins was a backseat passenger in the vehicle. The medical examiner’s report indicates Higgins was not wearing his seat belt.
When police responded to the scene of the crash, they learned the van’s ignition had been removed, according to a criminal complaint in this case. They then learned the vehicle had been reported stolen.
The impact of the crash resulted in the van being nearly sheared in half — with the rear portion of the vehicle perpendicular to the front. The utility pole was observed lying across the roadway, and there were electrical wires in the street.
The complaint says prior to the crash, an officer was dispatched to the area near 6th and Morgan for an “entry in progress” complaint. Upon arrival, the officer observed a vehicle approach the intersection at 35-40 miles-per-hour.
The officer activated the squad’s lights to stop traffic, but the vehicle continued north on 6th Street — accelerating.
The officer attempted to follow the vehicle, which crossed Oklahoma Avenue before appearing to cross the center line to pass another vehicle.
The driver appeared to lose control of the vehicle — and it crashed.
Following the crash, the complaint says the officer observed “several individuals” run from the vehicle.
One of the vehicle’s passengers (Rashad Higgins), had been ejected from the vehicle. He later died at the hospital.
Investigators spoke with one of the five people inside the van at the time of the crash. That person indicated Kemonte Walker was driving the van when it crashed.
According to the complaint, this individual indicated the group of five individuals was on the city’s south side, breaking into cars to get money. This person said while checking for cars to break into, a police car attempted to block them in, and in response, Walker drove the van past the police car — and took off.
This individual told investigators as they were driving, he asked that Walker let him out of the van, but Walker ignored him and they continued driving.
This person said Walker was driving the van northbound in the southbound lanes on 6th Street, and was passing vehicles. As Walker tried to pass a vehicle, he lost control — and this person who was inside the van told officials the van flipped over three times. This individual told investigators he, too was ejected from the van. He then said he got up and tried, unsuccessfully, to run from police, according to the complaint.
Two others who were inside the van at the time gave similar stories to investigators, according to the complaint.
The complaint indicates Walker has never been issued a valid driver’s license. Even so, Walker’s driver’s license was suspended based upon failing to pay fines.