Crash kills teenager in Aurora, vehicle burglary also investigated

By Erika Wurst For Chronicle Media

Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman

Aurora police are continuing the investigate a fatal weekend crash that killed an 18-year-old Aurora man on Nov. 2.

According to Aurora police, Demaszjae Miller, 800 block of N. View Street, was pronounced dead around 9 p.m. at an Aurora hospital where he was transported after being struck by a 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe while allegedly running through the street near Indian Trail and Highland Avenue.

Police believe Miller, and two unknown acquaintances, were involved in a vehicle burglary that had occurred just prior to Miller being struck. At 7:53 p.m. a man living in the 800 block of Taylor Avenue called 911 to report that he had just received an alert on his phone detecting motion in his back yard. He checked out security footage and saw an African-American man standing near a vehicle deep in the driveway.

When the homeowner went to investigate, he allegedly saw three men running from his home. He gave a description of the men to police who responded to the scene. That’s when police noticed three men matching the suspects’ descriptions standing near a vehicle on Russell Avenue, a few blocks from the original burglary scene.

Officers shined their lights on the men, who then fled into the backyards on Russell Avenue. Despite getting out of the squad and giving chase, officers were eluded by the suspects.

A short time later, a woman who had been driving in the area of Indian Trail and Highland Avenue witnessed two men running across Highland Avenue. A third man emerged from a backyard, ran into traffic on Highland Avenue, and was struck by an oncoming Tahoe.

The witness flagged down officers who were in the area and reported what she had seen. Police arrived and found Miller suffering from critical injuries. He was transported to an Aurora hospital and pronounced dead.

The Tahoe’s driver, a 40-year-old Aurora woman, had been driving with her 14-year-old son at the time of the crash. Police said she showed no signs of impairment, was cooperative, and was not charged. Paramedics treated her on-scene for a panic attack. Her son was not injured.

At the hospital, where Miller was transported for treatment, his family members allegedly became “irate”, leading to three people being charged, police said.

A female family member of Miller’s was charged for allegedly battering an Aurora Police sergeant. Two others, a juvenile male and an adult man, were charged after hospital security allegedly witnessed them jumping on top of a police squad car and shattering its windshield.

Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman took to social media to address a series of rumors that spread online following Miller’s death.

“APD did not shoot anyone,” she wrote. “APD wasn’t pursuing anyone. APD did not strike the man with a squad car. Facts matter, friends. We are so sorry that a life was lost, but I will not allow misinformation to be circulated.

Please keep the family of (Miller) in your thoughts as well as the driver of the vehicle. This is a terrible tragedy.”

The Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team and the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force are working with the Aurora Police Department on the investigation.