Prosecutors: Woman attempted to flee police before crash that killed friend, injured toddler

Taylor Arms

MILWAUKEE — Taylor Arms of Milwaukee is now charged in connection with a fatal crash that happened at 67th and Marion in Milwaukee on Thursday night, Oct. 25. Prosecutors say she was attempting to flee police when the vehicle she was driving, without a valid license, struck a tree.

A 21-year-old woman died in the crash -- and a 2-year-old child was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Arms faces a single charge of vehicle operator flee/elude officer resulting in the death of another.

According to the criminal complaint, officers were traveling eastbound on W. Capitol Drive when they observed a silver Mercedes without registration/plates and with tinted windows.

Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver, later identified as Arms, refused to pull over. When the car would not stop, police did not pursue it.

Fatal crash near 67th and Marion

The complaint indicates Arms disregarded a stop sign at the intersection of 72nd and Fiebrantz and continued northbound on N. 72nd Street. The Mercedes then turned right, travelling east onto Marion Street. Once the squad car turned right, the Mercedes was about two blocks ahead of the squad car.

At that time, the complaint indicates the officer pulled the squad car to the side of the road and turned off the emergency lights and sirens. As the officer was doing this, he saw the driver lose control of the Mercedes and crash near 67th and Marion.

Upon seeing the crash, the officer turned on the squad’s lights and siren and drove to the scene of the accident. Upon  arrival, the officers saw the Mercedes had hit a tree and that the front of the Mercedes was on fire.

Fatal crash near 67th and Marion

Fatal crash near 67th and Marion

According to the criminal complaint, the officer tried to open the driver’s door of the Mercedes, but it was locked. The officer then broke the driver’s side window, unlocked the door, and removed the driver, identified as Arms. The officer then saw that there was a small child in the back of the car. As he attempted to remove the child, he saw that there was a woman, who had been in the front passenger's seat, on the ground with her legs inside the car.

The child was transported to Children’s Hospital and it was determined that the child was suffering from a broken femur and a bruised lung.

The 21-year-old passenger, identified as April Stegall was killed despite police not giving up on CPR.

"I think she always just wanted to make the best of her life. This is going to be the first time I seen her since I came back from Phoenix. It's going to be in a casket," sad Jasmine, Stegall's sister.

Jasmine sad Arms was a good friend of her sister April.

"I feel sorry for Taylor's family. This really hit home. I just wish she would have stopped. All of this could have been prevented. My sister could have still been here. She should have just stopped. Nothing could have been that serious to actually hurt yourself or your child or an innocent person that's driving with you," said Jasmine.

April Stegall

Driving records maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation show that on Oct. 26, 2018, Arms did not have a valid driver’s license. Those records show that on Aug. 24, 2018, her operating privileges had been suspended for one year for failure to pay a $178 ticket for speeding.

Arms made her initial appearance in court on Tuesday, Oct. 30. A preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 8 and cash bond was set at $7,500.