Suspect fleeing police in NKY crashes into car with mother, children inside

The man is accused of stealing several items from a Kroger.
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 9:02 PM EDT
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KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - A Tri-State family who was hit by a driver fleeing police on Monday says they feel lucky to be alive.

Kelli Niare says she was driving north on Madison Avenue taking her daughter to softball practice when the incident occurred.

“Of course, it was the day after Mother’s Day, so it’s pretty emotional,” she said.

In the moments after the crash, Niare says Independence police surrounded the suspect’s vehicle with their guns drawn.

“First thing I’m thinking is, ‘Ok, hopefully, the shots don’t come this way if they do have to shoot,’” she said.

No shots were fired, Niare says, but her car sustained damage from the crash.

The Independence Police Department took Rondel Helton, the driver, into custody. Helton is accused of stealing several items from a Kroger in Independence, which precipitated the chase, police say.

Helton is currently at the Hamilton County Jail because he was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment following the crash. He will face charges in Kenton County.

Niare says once the shock started to wear off, she realized her son would have been sitting in the seat right where her car was hit had her daughter not put a softball bag in the seat instead.

“I’m so thankful that she put that bag in that seat and he moved over,” she said.

Niare says the other driver doesn’t have insurance, which increases the burden on her family moving forward.

“It kind of leaves us in a bad spot, ya know?” she said. “It’s hard to have a functioning house with one vehicle.”

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