Photos: Six people hurt in Thornton crash after Northglenn police chase alleged car thief

There's always debate about when police should engage in a car chase with suspects -- and when doing so is simply too dangerous for everyone involved, including innocent bystanders.

Against that backdrop, we offer the facts that have surfaced thus far about a rollover crash in Thornton that injured six -- count 'em -- six people.

The alleged crime: car theft. And yes, the smash-up was spurred by police pursuit.

The agency that first reported about the incident was the Thornton Police Department -- which, interestingly enough, isn't the force that was involved in the chase. Rather, it's the one charged with cleaning up the mess.

At about 5:24 a.m. this morning, the TPD reveals, officers were called to the intersection of Thornton Parkway and Washington Street "to assist the Northglenn Police Department with an accident at that location."

This is what the officers found when they arrived, as seen in a photo a viewer provided to 7News:

What happened? According to the TPD, Northglenn cops were trying to stop a suspected stolen vehicle, but the driver of the car in question rabbited through the intersection, running a red light in the process -- and colliding with another car.

The driver managed to get out of the car and hot-foot it, but only briefly. He was soon apprehended, and apparently injured. He and the occupants of the vehicle -- 7News counts three passengers -- were taken to a nearby hospital. And so, too, were two people in the car struck by the fleeing vehicle.

Here's a helicopter shot from the station showing the aftermath of the wreck:

At this point, there's no word about specific charges against the driver, but he's already been earmarked for custody as soon as he's received treatment. In the meantime, the incident is being investigated by the North Metro Accident Reconstruction Team, which will no doubt be charged with determining if the crash could have been avoided.

Anyone with additional info about what went down is encouraged to phone Crime Stoppers at Metro Area Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Salvador Negrette, alleged road rager: Car chase ended with beatdown, police say."

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