Less than 10 minutes after Baltimore County Police were warned Tuesday night that a 20-year-old Westminster man was barreling south on Interstate 795 intent on committing "suicide by cop," a high-speed police chase had ended and a violent collision had killed a 74-year-old Reisterstown woman.
Nicholas Mottley, of the 600 block of Wilmot Ridge Road, was trapped in his parents' Chevy Traverse after the three-vehicle car crash near the intersection of Reisterstown Road and Caraway Road in Reisterstown. He was in critical condition at Sinai Hospital as of Wednesday morning, said Cpl. John Wachter, a police spokesman.
Martha Tabares, of the 900 block of Shirley Manor Road in Reisterstown, died after her Toyota Corolla was struck nearly head-on by Mottley's Traverse, Wachter said.
The fatal crash, which also involved a van but no other injuries, occurred about 8:22 p.m., Wachter said.
The initial call from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office warning Baltimore County police that a "violent suicidal suspect" who was armed with a knife and had expressed a desire to be killed by police was traveling into their jurisdiction in a vehicle matching Mottley's Traverse had come at 8:13 p.m., Wachter said.
Sheriff's deputies in Carroll had first been dispatched to the home of Mottley's parents in Westminster about 45 minutes prior, at 7:30 p.m., when one of his parents called 911 to report a domestic incident involving their son, said Major Phillip Kasten, a sheriff's spokesman.
Mottley had been on deputies' radar before.
Mottley is scheduled to appear in Carroll County Circuit Court on March 27 on charges, stemming from an incident in September, of first-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary, theft of more than $10,000 and conspiracy to commit theft of more than $10,000, court records show.
As deputies neared Mottley's parents' house Tuesday night, they learned he had threatened suicide and fled the home with a pocket knife in the Traverse, Kasten said. Upon arrival at the home about 8 p.m., the deputies were able to talk to Mottley over the Traverse's OnStar communications system.
"He told the deputy on the phone that he intended to crash the vehicle and end his life, but he wished the police would just shoot him," Kasten said.
Again through the OnStar system, police were able to triangulate Mottley's location, by then inside Baltimore County, and warn police there filling them in on the details of Mottley's statements about crashing the vehicle or having police shoot him.
Officers in Baltimore County almost immediately made contact with Mottley after being notified, in the parking lot of a Walmart in the 9700 block of Reisterstown Road, Wachter said.
Mottley then rammed his Traverse into a police cruiser officers were not injured and then drove off, with the officers immediately pursuing him, Wachter said.
"They took off after him, but it wasn't too long before the shift commander said, 'Break it off, he's going too fast,'" Wachter said.
Officers stopped the pursuit, Wachter said.
Mottley was then in a minor accident near the intersection of Reisterstown Road and Franklin Boulevard, Wachter said, and "just past that is when everything else happened."
Wachter said Mottley's Traverse was traveling west on Reisterstown Road when it crossed into the eastbound lanes and struck Tabares' Corolla, killing her instantly. The Traverse then continued on west-bound, hitting a Chrysler Town & Country van before it went through a utility pole and finally came to a stop about 40 feet later, police said.
Wachter said Mottley had to be extricated from the car. His condition remained unknown to Baltimore County police on Wednesday.
Crash investigators are looking into the incident.
"Any charges against the driver of the Traverse are pending the outcome of those investigations," police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said in a statement.