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3 civilians fatally injured during N.C. police chase

The Associated Press
Related: Family of N.C. girls killed in pursuit call policy into question

FRANKLINTON, N.C. — Two sisters returning from a shopping trip and a man trying to elude police were killed Saturday when their cars collided head-on, authorities said.

Linsay Erin Lunsford, 18, and her sister, Maggie, 9, both of Stem, were heading south on U.S. 15 after shopping in Oxford, according to their sister, Liz Lee. Meanwhile, a Franklinton police officer was chasing Guy Christopher Ayscue, 38, of Henderson.

Franklinton Police Chief Ray Gilliam said Officer Mike Dunlap observed Ayscue driving erratically on N.C. 56. Dunlap tried to stop Ayscue using his lights and siren, but Ayscue drove off. The 15-mile pursuit went through Creedmoor and onto U.S. 15 North.

Gilliam said Ayscue attempted to pass a slower car near the top of a hill and crossed a double-yellow line.

Ayscue, who was driving a 1988 Pontiac, slammed into Lunsford's 1999 Kia head-on at about 90 mph, the state Highway Patrol said.

"There were no skid marks," said patrol Sgt. R.P. Hargrove "No time to brake."

Gilliam said Dunlap, who joined the department in 2005 and is the agency's traffic and K-9 officer, was placed on administrative leave with pay, standard procedure when civilians are seriously injured during police activity.

Lee said the family wants to know if the chase was necessary,"

"We've lost our family members because they felt the need to chase somebody. We don't even know why they were chasing them," Lee told WRAL-TV Saturday night. "But they killed her. They took my sisters, and I'll never get to touch them again."

Linsay Lunsford was a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Maggie Lunsford was an elementary school student who had won an karate award earlier in the day.

"I can't even describe the loss my mother is going through right now over something so senseless," Lee said. And to take away two people who had so much life and so much ambition and dreams. There just aren't words.

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