Phenix City police stand by procedure following deadly weekend crash


PHENIX CITY, Ala. — The Phenix City Police Department stands by their policy two days after a multi-state chase that started in Columbus and ended in a deadly crash in Phenix City. Phenix City police say the weekend chase ended at the intersection of Crawford Road (13th St.) and 17th Avenue.

Columbus Police were initially engaged in the pursuit with a stolen Honda C-RV around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. However, when the car went over the Oglethorpe Bridge into Phenix City. That’s when another law enforcement agency became involved.

Police say the C-RV drove back into Columbus, traveled across the 13th St. bridge, then collided with a Nissan Murano.

The Russell County Deputy Coroner says 72-year-old Frank McLemore was killed in the crash. His wife Erin was sent to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, where she is still recovering from severe injuries.

News 3 reached out to the Columbus Police Department Special Operations Division for a statement. However, they are out of the office until Wednesday. No one with Columbus Police was available for comment Monday.

Meanwhile, Phenix City police say two people will face charges in this case. Dezhaun Dumas, the suspected driver, faces murder, second degree assault, and property charges. Dumas, 18, is still recovering from injuries suffered in Saturday’s crash at Midtown Medical Center.

Robert Fletcher faces theft by receiving charges, along with a host of charges from other cases. Fletcher, 18, is currently in the Muscogee County Jail.

More charges could come in this case. One police officer we spoke with said high-speed chases cause some of the most stressful moments for them. He points out while pursuits are rare in Phenix City, officers are “bound to do what they were sworn to do.” He says the police department has sympathy for the McLemore family.

The officer adds operating procedures are constantly under review.

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