A Buffalo man was killed Wednesday after Amherst police said he led them on a three-mile car chase that ended when he was hit by his own car on Main Street across from the University at Buffalo South Campus.
Clifford Walker, 43, of 229 Leroy Ave. died about 12:15 p.m. when he struck a parked car and was thrown into a stone archway at Main and Capen Boulevard, then hit by his own car, which pinned him against the wall, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Erie County Medical Examiner Sung-ook Baik.
A passenger, Ruben Bullock, 34, of 228 Jewett Ave., was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition with multiple injuries.
Police said the chase began on Main Street at Kensington Avenue in Snyder after Lt. Donald Wright spotted a car with the same license plate as a vehicle in which two men had fled after stealing a videocassette recorder from Hi-Fi Hospital at 7806 Transit Road, Amherst.
"Wright activated the red flasher light on his patrol car," Capt. Frank Olesko said. "But instead of stopping, the car took off."
During the chase, the Walker vehicle reached speeds of up to 70 mph as it headed toward Buffalo, he said. A second patrol car, driven by Officer Joseph Gworek, joined the pursuit.
After crossing into Buffalo, the speeding car hit a light pole and went out of control, striking a parked car in the Basil Ford lot, according to Officer Joseph Musial of the Buffalo Police Accident Investigation Unit. The force of the crash threw Walker from the car and into the stone archway at Main and Capen, Musial said.
His car then slammed into him, pinning him against the wall, he said.
The stolen videocassette recorder was found smashed under Walker's body.
Dozens of UB students and area residents saw the chase and crash.
When questioned in the medical center, Bullock said he did not know Walker, who had picked him up on Main Street, Musial said.