A man suspected of robbing a Tacoma bank suffered life-threatening injuries Tuesday when he sped away from officers and his car collided with another vehicle, police said.
The robbery of the Key Bank near North 26th and Proctor streets happened about 2 p.m. when a man in his 20s or 30s handed a note to an employee, demanded cash and implied he had a weapon, police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.
About 15 minutes later, officers saw a black, four-door Lincoln Mark V they thought matched the description of the getaway vehicle in the robbery. Before they could confirm that, the Lincoln sped off.
A couple blocks away, the Lincoln burst from an alley onto South 11th Street and was hit near South J Street by an eastbound white van, Cool said.
The crash slammed the Lincoln into a concrete building, the driver suffered critical injuries and was taken to a hospital. Three people in the van with minor injuries also were taken to a hospital for treatment, Cool said.
The Lincoln driver’s physical description and clothing matched that of the bank robber. That, along with the matching vehicle descriptions, led investigators to believe the Lincoln driver robbed the bank, Cool said.
Crews closed 11th Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South I Street while they responded to the wreck.
Washington Elementary and Mason Middle schools were locked down from 2:10 p.m. to 2:25 p.m. because of the incident, according to Tacoma Public Schools.