DA: Car Failed to Stop for Police Before Fatal Crash in New Bedford

Sixty-eight-year-old Janet Murphy, of New Bedford, was pronounced dead following the crash at Ashley Boulevard and Tallman Street

Authorities say a car that was fleeing police blew a stop sign in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and crashed into another car, killing its driver.

Surveillance footage shows a suspect's speeding Chevrolet Malibu trying to evade police before the crash that killed 68-year-old Janet Murphy, a New Bedford woman who was driving a Toyota Corrolla. A male passenger who was in that car was critically injured.

"Just a horrific scene," said one eyewitness. "Very sad and scary thought. There's a school here, and hours earlier, there were all kinds of schoolchildren here."

Police responded around 9:45 a.m. to the two-vehicle crash at Ashley Boulevard and Tallman Street. Two victims were pulled from a Toyota Corolla.

Murphy was pronounced dead while she was being taken to Rhode Island Hospital, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. Murphy's passenger was also taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.

Police said one occupant of the second vehicle, a Chevrolet Malibu, remained at the scene.

The second occupant is believed to have fled. State police said they were searching for James Bennett Werra.

Investigators say Werra is transgender and most likely dressed as a female, going by the name Janaya Love.

Werra allegedly cut off a GPS monitoring bracelet Tuesday.

An initial investigation showed that Fairhaven police had attempted to stop the Malibu, but the vehicle drove into nearby New Bedford. It was then that the driver failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with the Corolla, authorities said.

The investigation is ongoing.

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