Police Say Des Moines Car Accident Could Have Been Avoided

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The area near 19th St. and Clark was blocked off on Friday due to a two-vehicle crash.

Police say a black SUV was going the wrong way down Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway when it hit another car. The driver, 29-year-old Will Howard IV, was trying to evade police after a traffic stop.

The Des Moines Narcotics Unit was tipped off that there were drugs and weapons inside the SUV.

When the car was pulled over for a traffic stop near 19th and University, a passenger in the vehicle jumped out and ran. Howard then sped off, eventually going the wrong way and running into the other car.

One person in the suspect car was seriously injured, and police say the accident could have been avoided.

"All of this could be avoided. Running from us just to avoid going to jail is not worth the risks of what just happened here," says Sgt. Paul Parizek. "You have innocent people that are injured, and you run the risk obviously of injuring yourself. It's just not worth the risk of trying to do this just to avoid jail."

Officers did find weapons and drugs in the SUV.

Howard faces numerous charges including eluding and possession of a weapon.

Twenty-five-year-old Daniel Coleman faces charges of a controlled substance and interference with official acts.

Anthony Mure, a passenger in the vehicle, is in critical condition at a local hospital.

Des Moines police were not pursuing the vehicle at the time of the crash. The department has a policy not to continue pursuit when a vehicle goes the wrong way on a one-way street.